So you think you have a virus…

So you think you have a virus….

Computer viruses can not only disable internet access, they can redirect your browser, shut down Windows Internet Security and Firewall (leaving you vulnerable to more attacks), leave you unable to execute programs, and ultimately shut down your system.   Here are a few tips for identifying and repairing viruses:

How to spot a virus

How can you tell if you have a virus? If your virus software is outdated, you might not know from a scan if your computer is infected, but these symptoms suggest a virus:

  • You are unable to go online or run virus programs
  • Your Windows Security and Firewall are disabled
  • If you are able to go online, you can’t click links to Microsoft, AVG, or other legitimate sites
  • You are unable to execute programs
  • You cannot start Task Manager by hitting “CTRL+ALT+ DEL”

So what do you do if you have a virus and can’t get online, let alone run a virus program? Here  are some simple things that you can do.  Try these before you take it to the repair shop:

  • Kill the Virus in Safe Mode     To reboot in Safe Mode, restart your computer, then hit “F8.”  Select “Safe Mode with Networking.”
  • Try to get online in Safe Mode     If you can get online, download AVG  and install.  If you cannot get online in Safe Mode, use a different computer to download SuperAntiSpyware on a thumb drive, then install and run on your computer (Google “SuperAntiSpyware” for link) The ultimate goal is to run AVG or an equivalent program, but sometimes you have to start disabling the virus before you can kill it.  For some reason, this particular malware program slips past the goalie and runs when bigger and better programs are disabled.
  • Check your internet settings.   Go to Internet Options, then  LAN Settings.  If “use a proxy server” is checked, then uncheck it!  Redirect viruses often use a proxy server, which is why you can’t get online.
  • If this is a pervasive virus, you might have to run a few different programs to get rid of it.  My favorite free programs are Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware, and AVG.  And did I mention–they’re free!

If you have questions or comments, feel free to email me at