Virus Removal

Virus Removal

Virus removal is more difficult than it might seem. Not only does the virus need to be removed, but the system must be returned to its pre-infection state. At Rescue My Gadget, our first priority is to make sure that your pictures, documents, music and all other data that you created are safe and clean.

Anyone can reinstall Windows, but this means that it would be up to you to reinstall all programs and make all customizations. This might be the easiest way for the computer repair shop, but our customers would rather we completely clean the computer, address any security issues, do necessary updates, and give the computer back to you the way we found it, but clean and working great.

Most clients who have become infected by a computer virus, have been careful. Here are some of the comments that we get from our virus cleaning clients:

  • I'm always careful when I surf the web.
  • I have not used pirated software.
  • I never go to any bad sites.
  • I never click suspicious emails.
  • I don't download free music.
However the one question that we always get is "how did I get infected?" Unfortunately on most occasions, we'll never know. Viruses tend to start as an innocent looking file or email or thumb drive, but it is more likely that you invited it in by clicking on something that is free and claims to speed up your computer or keep your drivers up to date. These are mostly adware or spyware, but they open holes in your security that invites other Trojans and viruses into your computer. Next thing you know, you have a full blown virus on your hands.

Here are some tips on protecting yourself:

Do not use Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Programs

These are designed to anonymously download free music, movies or software. This is the worst offender of infection. All if not most of these files are infected. If you must use a P2P program, download all files to a common directory and scan that directory with a good quality anti-virus program prior to launching, watching or listening to the downloaded files.

Browse Safely

Here are many sites that have been infected without the site's owner knowing. On rare occasions even the most secure sites can get hacked. Most antivirus programs will protect you by scanning the internet traffic and either stopping the virus or alerting you. If you are alerted by your antivirus program. Do not ignore it. Programs like BitDefender Traffic Light, Norton Safe Web, or McAfee SiteAdvisor can help you stay safe.

If you are browsing the internet and you get a pop-up saying that you are infected. Ignore it. It is a bogus alert designed to have you click it, and essentially telling your antivirus program that the action is OK and you wish to install the program (virus) that you clicked. Also carefully read the EULA for free software, these can grant permission for the software author to install spyware or adware.

Be careful of any popup that appears to be a Windows update while your are surfing. Microsoft will generally install important updates nightly at 3 a.m using the Windows Update program. This is the Windows default, and has likely been doing this since you got your PC. If it's important, Microsoft will install the update without your intervention.

Another trick is to try to get you to click a pop-up that looks like a Java or Adobe Flash update. Legitimate updates for these programs will alert you from the bottom of your screen, on the lower right corner. Anything popping up in the middle of the screen is likely bogus.

If a screen pops up in your browser that you can't close, do not click anywhere on it. Not the No button or the Cancel button or even the check box in the upper right corner. All can possibly infect you. Instead do this, click the icon on your task bar, the one on the bottom of the screen, and then push the Alt and F4 keys at the same time. This should close it. Leave the site immediately. If it, or other things, continue to pop-up. Call a virus removal specialist at Rescue My Gadget. You have already been infected.

Keep your software up to date

Many will blame updates, especially Windows updates, for messing up their computer. This is rarely the case. Before you get an update, it has been extensively tested for compatibility with hundreds of thousands of potential set-ups. There is a much better chance of an update preventing a virus than causing one. Java and Adobe Flash are another two that need to be updated regularly. When you are prompted from either the Java or Flash icons in the space beside the clock in the lower right of your screen. Do not wait. It will only take a minute and you can continue what your are doing while the update is in progress.

Keep your antivirus program up to date

Most of the infected computers that we see have expired antivirus software. Normally, a good anti-virus program will scan, protect, and update without your help. Sometimes, they either expire or just have a hiccup that cases them to be turned off or have virus signatures that are not up to date. We suggest purchasing an antivirus program. We currently recommend both Kaspersky Internet Security or Norton Security. Both do an excellent job and we rarely see viruses on computer running either of these. If you want to go the free route, we are currently installing Avast for our clients. It is a solid program, and we improve it by configuring it to Rescue My Gadget specifications.

This is not a complete list but will most likely keep you virus free if you heed the warnings and follow the directions above.