Viruses and malware are malicious programs that can damage your laptop, steal your personal information, or hijack your online activities. They can also slow down your laptop’s performance, cause errors, or make it unusable. Therefore, it is important to protect your laptop from these threats and keep it secure.
Let’s get to the depth and understand the malicious software and how you can protect your laptop.
Understanding Viruses and Malware
Viruses and malware are two types of malicious software that can harm your laptop in different ways. A virus is a program that attaches itself to another program or file and spreads from one computer to another.
On the other hand, malware is a broader term that includes any software that is designed to harm, disrupt, or spy on your laptop, such as ransomware, spyware, adware, trojans, worms, etc.
Some of the ways that viruses and malware can harm your laptop are:
- Stealing your data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or bank accounts
- Monitoring your online activities, such as browsing history, emails, or chats
- Displaying unwanted ads, pop-ups, or redirects
- Deleting, modifying, or encrypting your files
- Changing your browser settings, homepage, or search engine
- Installing unwanted programs or toolbars
- Consuming your laptop’s resources, such as CPU, memory, or battery
- Blocking your access to certain websites, programs, or features
- Preventing your laptop from booting or shutting down
- Tips for Protecting Your Laptop from Viruses and Malware
- The best way to protect your laptop from viruses and malware, according to the Laptop Repair Dubai team is to prevent them from infecting your laptop in the first place.
Here are some tips that you can follow to keep your laptop safe and secure:
Install an Antivirus Software
An antivirus software is a program that can detect, block, and remove viruses and malware from your laptop. It can also scan your files, emails, downloads, and removable devices for any potential threats.
You should install certified antivirus software and keep it updated. You should also run a full scan of your laptop at least once a week or whenever you suspect a problem.
Keep Your Software Up-to-date
Outdated software can have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to infect your laptop with viruses and malware. You should maintain your operating system, browser, and other applications updated with the recent patches and updates.
You can enable automatic updates or check for updates manually from the settings of your software.
Back-Up Your Computer
Backing up your computer means making a copy of your important files and storing them in a safe location, such as an external hard drive, a cloud service, or a DVD. This way, you can restore your files in case they are lost, deleted, or corrupted by a virus or malware.
You should back up your computer regularly and keep your backup device disconnected from your laptop when not in use.
Use Strong Passwords
Passwords are the keys to your online accounts and confidential information. You should employ strong passwords that are difficult to guess and quick to remember. A strong password should be at least eight characters long. It should include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
You should also employ distinct passwords for different accounts and modify them periodically. You can use a password manager to store and develop your passwords securely.
Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Links and Downloads
One of the most common ways that viruses and malware can infect your laptop is through phishing emails, fake websites, or malicious downloads. You should be careful when you receive an email, a message, or a pop-up that asks you to click on a link, open an attachment, or download a file.
You should always inspect the sender, the subject, and the content of the email or message for any indications of forgery, such as spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, or urgent requests. You should also verify the URL of the website or the source of the download before clicking on it. If you are not sure, you can use a search engine to look up the information or contact the sender directly.
Additional Measures to Protect Your Laptop from Viruses and Malware
Besides the tips mentioned above, there are some additional measures that you can take to protect your laptop from viruses and malware. These include:
Use a Firewall
A firewall is software or hardware that can filter the incoming and outgoing traffic of your laptop. It can block unauthorized access to your laptop from hackers, viruses, or malware. It can also prevent your laptop from sending out unwanted data to malicious servers. You should enable the firewall of your operating system or install a third-party firewall for extra protection.
Downloading files from the internet can expose your laptop to viruses and malware. You should minimize your downloads and only download files from trusted and verified sources. You should also scan your downloads with your antivirus software before opening or running them. Moreover, you should also avoid downloading pirated or cracked software, as they can contain hidden malware or viruses.
Use a Pop-up Blocker
Pop-ups are small windows that appear on your browser when you visit certain websites. Some pop-ups can be useful, such as notifications, alerts, or offers. However, some pop-ups can be annoying, intrusive, or malicious. They can display unwanted ads, redirect you to fake websites or trick you into clicking on harmful links or downloads.
Moreover, you should use a pop-up blocker to block or limit the pop-ups on your browser. You can enable the pop-up blocker of your browser or install a pop-up blocker extension for more control.
Be Cautious of Scams and Phishing Attempts
Scams and phishing endeavors are deceitful schemes that seek to deceive you into giving away your personal information, money, or access to your laptop. They can arrive in various forms, such as emails, messages, calls, or websites. They can also mimic legitimate organizations, such as banks, government agencies, or online services.
You should be cautious of any unsolicited or unexpected communication that asks you to provide your personal information, verify your account, pay a fee, or click on a link. You should also report any suspicious or fraudulent activity to the appropriate authorities or platforms.
Consider using Free Antivirus Software
If you are looking for free antivirus software, you can consider using Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which is the built-in antivirus software of Windows 10. It can provide real-time protection, cloud-based analysis, and automatic updates for your laptop.
It can also integrate with other Microsoft security features, such as Windows Security, Windows Firewall, and Microsoft Edge. You can enable Microsoft Defender Antivirus from the settings of your laptop or download it from the Microsoft website.
What to Do If Your Laptop is Infected with a Virus or Malware?
If your laptop is infected with a virus or malware, you should not panic or disregard the difficulty. You should take prompt action to terminate the infection and restore your laptop to normal.
Here are some steps that you can take if your laptop is infected with a virus or malware:
Disconnect Your Laptop from the Internet
The first thing you should do is to disconnect your laptop from the internet. This can prevent the virus or malware from spreading to other devices, sending out your data, or downloading more malware. You can disconnect your laptop from the internet by turning off your Wi-Fi, unplugging your Ethernet cable, or switching to airplane mode.
Enter Safe Mode
The next thing you should do is to enter safe mode. Safe mode is a mode of your operating system that only runs the essential programs and services. This can prevent the virus or malware from running or interfering with your laptop.
You can enter safe mode by restarting your laptop and pressing the F8 key repeatedly until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu. Then, you can select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter.
Scan and Remove the Virus or Malware
The final thing you should do is scan and remove the virus or malware from your laptop. You can use your antivirus software to scan your laptop for any threats and remove them. You should also update your antivirus software before scanning to ensure that it can detect the latest viruses and malware.
Moreover, you should also scan your laptop with more than one antivirus software to ensure that no traces of the virus or malware are left behind.
Wrapping Up – Microsoft Defender Offline Tool
If your antivirus software cannot remove the virus or malware, or if your laptop cannot boot or enter safe mode, you can use the Microsoft Defender Offline tool. This is a tool that can scan and remove viruses and malware from your laptop without starting Windows.
You can use the Microsoft Defender Offline tool by creating a bootable USB drive or DVD from another computer and inserting it into your infected laptop. Then, you can restart your laptop and follow the instructions on the screen to scan and remove the virus or malware.