By Nancy P. Goodman
Previously published by this author on (now-defunct) Associated Content web pages.
posted here on July 20, 2020.
Help for a Computer Virus Attack
Help! a Computer Virus Has Attacked My Computer!
Here is some help if you get a computer virus
Help! A computer virus has attacked my computer! This is the call my husband and I often receive from friends and relatives who don’t want to go pay a computer shop a huge amount of hard earned cash to rid their machine of a virus which seemed to ‘appear out of nowhere’.
These tips do apply ONLY to those folks who own a PC, no MAC information here, sorry!
First of all, I will be honest with you. You MUST have a computer program which will scan for, detect and clean your computer of viruses and spyware. This is only ‘common sense’, and if you bought and paid for your computer, then you surely want to protect your investment.
But, if you don’t currently have an anti-virus program on your computer, (or even if you do) here are some helpful tips of things to watch out for and to do when disaster strikes.
1: If EVER a small window comes up in the middle of what you are doing on the computer, and says something to the effect of:
“VIRUSES HAVE BEEN DETECTED ON YOUR COMPUTER
CLICK OK TO HAVE YOUR COMPUTER SCANNED OR
CLICK CANCEL TO CANCEL”
Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT click anywhere on that box!! Simply go to your START button and close the computer DOWN. Then you can restart the machine and proceed to get an anti-virus program installed and running!
(If you do have an anti-virus program installed, then run it the first thing upon restarting the machine.)
Many people we know have had this happen, and it always loads their computers up with junk and probably spyware to get their credit card numbers if they click that message, even to CANCEL it! So even if worst comes to worst, UNPLUG the machine before you ever click on that box!
2. Do NOT click on any link in any email that is from someone you do not know, or even if you know the person, there can still be ‘bugs’ sent out through a friend’s email without their knowledge. But if this does happen and you do get a virus, CLOSE your computer down immediately until you have consulted someone who can help you clean and restore it. Be careful when you download any files from anyone you do not know, or even if a friend, and run your anti-virus program on the files and on ANY files you download from the web. Again, if the unthinkable happens, and you do ‘contract a virus’, remember to CLOSE your system down and seek help.
3. You may need to use the RESTORE function on your PC if you can’t remove the virus otherwise. To RESTORE your computer to an earlier day or time, you need to be familiar with which system your computer is running. Is it Windows XP, or Windows Vista or the newer Windows 7?
For any of the Windows systems, you should go to the website of Microsoft.com and familiarize yourself with the way to RESTORE to earlier day and time for your particular system BEFORE disaster happens. That means NOW, today, not tomorrow after you can’t use your computer to get online.
One example I can give you, on my Windows XP system, I can type into the RUN box: “msconfig” and I will find the RESTORE function within that command.
Anytime I install new software to my Windows XP system, I will ‘create a new restore point’ ‘prior to making any changes to that system. But the system itself should be doing this on a regular basis, such as prior to downloading any Windows updates.
4. For PC users (I don’t own a Mac so I can’t speak to that) you can go to Microsoft.com and use their FREE Windows Safety Scanner which will not only search for problems within the Registry on your machine, but will also search for viruses and spyware. It is a great FREE tool that you should take advantage of if you are able to.
5. Again, for PC users, you can go to Microsoft.com and type in ” Security Essentials” and download a FREE virus program for Windows XP, Windows Vista and the newer Windows 7. How neat is that!!!
(Disclaimer: this is not to replace any professional advice or assistance you may be in need of.
(Written at the time Windows XP was in it’s ‘heyday’….