27 Dec 2011

How to fight off a computer virus

If a computer is acting a bit off, Eric Gwinn of the Chicago Tribune's Gadget Q&A blog said it is most likely a virus, so people should take precautions, such as antivirus software, and use steps to fight it off.

Gwinn said the first thing to do is an online security scam, followed by disconnecting the computer from the internet.

"Depending on what type of Trojan horse or virus you have, intruders may have access to your personal information and may even be using your computer to attack other computers," he said. "You can stop this activity by turning off your Internet connection. The best way to accomplish this is to physically disconnect your cable or phone line, but you can also simply disable your network connection."

From here, he said networks can be disabled, files can be backed up, machines can be safely scanned and, if need be, the operating system can be reinstalled.

People can get rid of a virus by scanning the computer in safe mode and using antivirus software removal tools to get rid of the unwanted programs.