A single malware infection can be very costly for an individual or small business owner. Once malware gets installed on a computer, it begins to alter files, transfer data to another computer or even encrypt all of the computer’s data and hold it for ransom. Essentially, a malware attack is one of the worst things that can happen to a computer. It’s even worse if that computer is on a network because all of the network computers could be affected. It’s critical for everyone to know how to prevent malware and what to do if it ever show up at home or at the office.
Before a computer is connected to the Internet, the owner should install and run antivirus software. This software can detect malware and prevent it before it can cause trouble. The work isn’t done once the antivirus program has been installed. New viruses are created and sent out to infect unsuspecting victims all the time. The software needs to be updated regularly in order to catch those new viruses and prevent their malware from locking the computer.
Sometime, a virus slips through the firewalls and infects a computer before it can be unplugged. If a computer catches a virus, it’s important to understand it’s not the end of the world. Viruses, even ransomware, can be removed without paying a fortune to someone in Brazil or Russia. These thieves may request thousands of dollars in exchange for the code to unlock the encrypted files. Fortunately, there is usually a set of instructions online or even a tool that will help the computer owner remove the virus and get back their data.
After removing the virus, it’s important to clean the system. If there is any residual code left on the computer, it could reinstall the virus and the owner would have to start the process all over again. After successfully cleaning the system, the files must be restored. Ideally, these restored files will come from a backup that was done in the few days before the virus fiasco. Since there is almost always some data loss after a virus, backing up routinely will reduce the chances of important files being lost due to malware.