Computer Virus Prevention and Removal

Computer viruses can range in effect from harmless to amusing to extremely damaging. Dealing with viruses is a two-fold mission: initial prevention and subsequent removal.


The most basic form of prevention is simply user education. Users should always refuse emails from unknown sources. Even if the source is a known acquaintance, beware of attachments with an extension of .exe, .scr, or .vbs .

In addition, a reliable virus detection program is important for initial detection. These must be updated regularly to remain effective. Some run "on-line", so that the virus database is always up-to-date (ie. McAfee Virus Scan Online). Others can be scheduled to regularly download the latest virus definitions. Some popular programs are from McAfee and Norton, although many others such as AVG and Avast have also proven effective.

Check with your product vendors for updates which include those for your operating system web browser, and email . One example is the security site section of Microsoft located at


The same programs that are used for prevention are usually able to remove viruses that found their way into your system. Some web sites from Malwarebytes and Spybot offer free programs that can scan and remove malware from your system. In addition, both McAfee and Norton's web sites have removal tools for specific viruses that can be downloaded at no cost.

Be sure to back up your hard drive to tape or other media regularly. If your computer does become unusable, you can format your drive and restore the data as a last resort.

If you have any questions about this topic, or need assistance in virus prevention or removal, please feel free to contact us.

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