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Ways to remove Computer Viruses For Free

Maybe you are taking the proactive approach and you are thinking about how to prevent viruses from infecting your computer in the first place? Either way, this article can help so read on.

Let's begin with what a virus is and a few of the different types of viruses out there.

A virus is a program or piece of code that runs on a computer without the users knowledge. Viruses cannot install themselves, they must be run by a human, mostly likely from an executable file. Viruses can use up system resources, replicate themselves, allow a user remote access to the infected computer, as well as destroy personal data, hardware and software. Many viruses are spread via email. Viruses are different from spyware.

There are different types of viruses.
•    Boot Virus - affects the boot sector of a floppy or hard disk (hard drive). The boot sector is a crucial part of the system since it holds information about how a computer boots (is started) up. A boot virus does not infect files, it infects the disks on which they reside.
•    Macro Virus - enter a system by exploiting vulnerabilities in macros. Microsoft Word (.doc file extension), Excel spreadsheets (.xls file extension) and many more...
•    Polymorphic Virus - changes itself (actually, encrypts, or encodes itself) so as to be hidden from scans. When it is going to deliver it's damage it decrypts, does what it is designed to do and goes back into hiding.
•    Resident Virus - hides in RAM memory, from where it can control all operations of the system.
•    Trojan Horse - is a master of deception. It usually hides in software that appears to be a legitimate application. Once opened by the user a Trojan can do anything from delete files, and destroying system information to less malicious things as making your cd rom open and close and changing your desktop icons around. Trojans are famous for creating a backdoor in the infected computer. This backdoor allows users remote access which can be used to control the computer for whatever use the controller wishes. Trojans do not reproduce by infecting other files, which is one of the major differences between a trojan and a worm.
•    Worms - are a sub-class of viruses. They spread from computer to computer and have the ability to move from computer to computer across networks without the help of a human. A worm exploits vulnerabilities in software and operating systems using existing files and transport systems already in place on the infected machine. One of the most dangerous thing about worms is their ability to replicate. An infected system could be used to not only send one copy of the worm out onto the Internet but possibly thousands of copies. In the meantime, draining the infected computer of valuable system resources.
1.    Download, install and update Anti-Virus Software.
2.    If you are using Windows ME or Windows XP, disable System Restore.
3.    Disconnect from the Internet.
4.    Open Internet Explorer (or the browser of your choice) - clear your cookies and cache.

Tips To Help Keep Viruses Off Your Computer:

1.    Do not open email attachments - unless you can verify they are 100% safe.
2.    Stay away from questionable websites. For example: pornography sites!
3.    Be careful when downloading using P2P (Peer to Peer) file sharing software. Always scan your downloads with anti-virus software before you open them!
4.    Keep Microsoft Windows up-to-date using Windows Update.
5.    Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and run scans periodically.
6.    Do not install Free software unless the source can be verified. When in doubt search for the software title on Google.
Removing viruses from a computer can be a daunting task: remain calm, do your research and be persistent and you should be able to enjoy a virus-free computing experience once again.

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