When Your Computer's Security Falters
Technology is constantly changing and evolving every day. Nowhere is this more evident than in the development and adaptations of computer viruses, both in how they impact infected systems and how they breech security protocols. If you happen to find that a malicious program has infiltrated your computer, there are options available, both to stop the virus from doing further damage and to remove it from your system safely.
Identify the Source
While most anti-virus software is capable of identifying known malicious software (malware) and eradicating it, newer programs can evade detection or avoid being deleted directly. This is usually done by exploiting code within other programs, causing the system to behave as though deleting the malware will negatively impact other programs. If you can identify the downloaded software to which a virus was attached, you'll have a better starting point to work from.
Once you know which program was carrying the malware originally, you can go about preventing further infiltration into your system. Many anti-virus programs have a quarantine function, whereby the malicious program is moved to a partitioned area of your hard drive and cut off from access to other parts of the computer. This is standard operation for most anti-virus and security suite programs but may not always successfully address the problem.
Your Last Resort
IT companies and personnel often have access to more potent virus removal tools that are capable of extracting malware with minimal risk to the rest of the system. However, to ensure that you aren't going to lose any important data, it's a good idea to create a back-up of your system files on a remote storage device. Devices range in size from a few megabytes up to several terabytes of storage space, allowing you to create a back-up copy of virtually any sized file directory or system.
Having a back-up will mean that if the professional grade virus removal tools fail to eliminate the problem, the system can be safely wiped and restored. The process will be moderately inconvenient, given the lengthy process of reinstalling your operating system, but your recent back-up will restore all functions that were present at the time the copy was made.
Remember, there are options available to you if malware infests your computer, but only if you take appropriate precautions on a regular basis. Always keep your anti-virus programs and security suite updated, and make sure you update your system back-up on a regular basis. There's no reason a virus should render your computer permanently useless, so make sure that's not a risk you'll ever have to worry about.
For more information, you may want to contact a professional virus removal company like Microworx.