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Help! I'm infected!

It is possible to have a computer virus or especially a browser hijack object (BHO) and not even know about it. That is why periodic virus and ad-, spy-, and malware scans are important as well as a firewall and a virus program of some type is desirable. Once these thing get on your computer they can cause damage, slow the computer, annoy people in your address book, and be very difficult to remove.

    My chain of advice is this:
  1. Put up the firewall.
  2. Update your anti-virus program's virus definition pattern and scan your machine. (If you do not have an anti-virus program, install Avast! or AVG from this disk or their websites)
  3. Install Ad-aware, update its definitions and run it
  4. Install Spybot Search and Destroy and run it
  5. Optional: Log onto Panda Scan (above) and scan your computer.
  6. Optional: Log onto Housecall (above) and scan your computer.
  7. Re-run Ad-aware, Spybot, and your virus program every time you use your computer for the next several days until you are comfortable that it is not infected and is protected.

Sometimes you have to reboot in “Safe Mode” to remove the virus or spyware. This is done by turning on your computer and tapping the F8 key until you get a black and white screen with the option to boot in Safe Mode.

Much help for removing viruses and spyware can be found on the Internet. Sometimes it takes a special program, which can usually be found at your virus program company's website. Sometimes removal can be a very technical thing, but usually it is not. It really is true that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially so since you can get adequate protection for free!

Links to virus removal tool pages
Symantec (Norton Antivirus)
Panda Software
Online PC Fix
Grisoft AVG

Click on the link “Computer Necessities” and read there for more information on the programs. The programs are available at the “My Programs” link.

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