How to Remove Viruses

by : Mmenninger

So you think you've got a computer virus.

Well, if your computer's acting funny all of the sudden, chances are pretty good you've got a virus or some other malware causing the trouble. This can be a very disturbing feeling and if you're like me, you'll want to do whatever it takes to get your computer back to normal again.

Luckily, in almost all cases, dealing with a virus situation is pretty straight forward. In fact, there are really only three steps:

1. Detect the virus
2. Remove the virus
3. Prevent future viruses

There are lots of free online virus scan tools that can help you detect viruses which is the first thing you need to do. Two that I can recommend are the McAfee Stinger tool and the Panda ActiveScan online tool. Both of these tools are very effective at detecting viruses and the Panda ActiveScan tool is also good at detecting spyware.

I recently ran the Panda ActiveScan tool on my laptop. Installing the tool takes several minutes but it's pretty painless. It ran for about 5 minutes and luckily my laptop is virus free! However, it did detect 45 cases of spyware. The spyware all looked like harmless cookies from various websites so I left them alone.

Now that you've detected the viruses, you need to go to step #2, removing the viruses. The good news is, the McAfee Stinger download will not only detect the virus, it will often be able to remove the virus, too. The Panda online scan tool will only detect the virus but will only remove any viruses found for a small fee.

You've found and removed the virus from your computer. The final step is to keep your computer from getting infected again. There are two very important things you need to do to prevent future viruses. First, you need to make sure your computer always has the most current updates and patches. If it's a Windows computer, click here to make sure it's up-to-date:, then follow the instructions.

The other thing you need to do is make sure you have good antivirus and antispyware software running on your computer at all times. My personal recommendation is to use the Panda Security Anti-Virus Products. They've been in business since 1990 and their antivirus applications are top notch. There are lots of great antivirus applications, though.

The key is to make sure you've got the antivirus software running and it has the most up-to-date virus definition files (also called DAT files). You could have the greatest antivirus software in the world but if the virus definitions are even a little bit out of date you've increased your chances of getting reinfected.

Even though you got hit with a virus, if you follow the three steps I outlined here, you'll have a clean system and be more protected from viruses and other malware in the future.