How to Remove a Virus

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Do you remember back when your computer was shiny and new, it likely came with pre-installed Norton or McAfee antivirus software. It would periodically pop up little notices that it had downloaded the latest updates, and you felt snug and secure when you surfed online.

Then that trial membership expired. You may not have even noticed the lapse in coverage, assuming that the icon in your toolbar was a sign that all was well — or, like many, you may have been wary to spend your hard-earned cash to subscribe. This story is so common that it’s one reason why Panda Security reported in January that approximately 50 percent of the world’s computers are compromised by some form of malware.

While I fondly remember the days when viruses were primarily built to annoy their victims, today’s viruses are far more dangerous. Infected computers attack other computers. Hackers use these vast networks of infected computers or “botnets” to send spam, break websites and infiltrate corporate networks to steal credit-card data and customer information. Before you decide to unplug your computer, rest assured that there are some easy ways to protect yourself.

The 4 Best Anti Virus Programs for removing a virus

#1 McAfee Anti-Virus:

If you’re already running an anti-virus program and making sure that it is up to date, kudos! If you elected to shell out the dough to keep your Norton or McAfee running after the trial ended, keep in mind that these two programs dominate the consumer security space. This makes them the biggest targets for hackers and virus writers who study their code to find vulnerabilities. While I am not suggesting that you look for an unknown, untested antivirus for your computer’s safety, there may be good reason to consider switching to one of the great free anti-virus options available.

McAfee Anti-Virus For Mac:

McAfee also has an antivirus solution for Mac Computers. I know people say that you can’t get a virus on Macs and to a degree that is true. So far, Mac computers are not vulnerable to traditional viruses, however they can be targets of  malware, phishing scams, identity thieves and hackers. Anti virus software for Macs will help secure your data and keep malware off your computer. Another solution worth mentioning is Avira.  Avira anti-virus has a Mac virus protection program called MacKeeper.

#2 Microsoft Security Essentials:

One of my favorite anti-virus programs for the basic user is Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free, easy to use, updated frequently and provides great protection from most Internet-born parasites. The fact that it’s made by Microsoft, the company that makes Windows, is a great benefit. Who is better equipped to know which Windows vulnerabilities hackers are targeting? Programers can then integrate the fix seamlessly into Windows.

#3 Avast!:

If you just can’t get past the idea of trusting Microsoft to protect your Windows PC, or if you are running an alternate operating system, consider Avast! free antivirus. Avast is one of the highest-rated antivirus programs, according to AV Comparatives, an independent antivirus program reviewer. Avast offers both a free and a paid version, and boasts one of the fastest virus scans on the market. It also uses fewer system resources when scanning, so you can continue to use your computer normally while the scan runs in the background. Anyone who has been held hostage by a seemingly endless scan that makes everything else on your system slow to a useless crawl can appreciate this benefit. Fun side note: You can select different voices to proclaim, “Ding! Avast’s virus definitions have been updated.” I am quite partial to Pirate.

#4 Sandboxie:

Finally, if compromised or lost data would devastate your productivity, check out Sandboxie. Sandboxie is an applications that allows you to run certain programs “virtually,” like putting them in quarantine. Essentially, you open your web browser or email in a “sandbox,” so an infected website or virus-laced email attachment won’t compromise the rest of your system. When you close the program, you destroy the sandbox’s contents, including any infections. However, cookies and temp files go, too, so if you like to auto-login to websites you frequent, this solution will likely annoy you.

Don’t surf naked — get some protection. If you’re already suffering from and nned help to remove a virus or for more ways to be safe on the scary wide web, visit www.callnerds.com/andrea

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.

Video Transcript


Hi, everybody. I’m Ryan from Nerds on Call. Today we’re going to be talking about how to remove a virus from your PC. Back in the day, when you first got your computer, it probably came pre-installed with something like Norton or McAfee. Those are great protection, but usually they expire after about a year. Then what do you do?

One of my favorite anti-virus is Microsoft Security Incentive. Just go to Microsoft.com and search for Microsoft Security Essentials, it’s free, it’s easy to use, it’s frequently updated, and it’s really fast. If you don’t want to use the Microsoft product, you can always use a program called Avast, it’s also a free anti-virus software. And one of the coolest parts of it is, when it’s all done scanning your system, it will say “Hey, ding, we’re all done looking for viruses.” And you can change that voice to anything you want. So my favorite is “Pirate” It will go “Argh, no viruses found.” Thanks for watching. I’m Ryan, from Nerds on Call.