Top Tips for Virus Prevention and Removal

There are no silver bullets when it comes to antivirus software. There are far too many threats created every day for any one company to keep up with them all. And even if your antivirus software is good at detecting viruses that doesn't mean it's good at removing them. That's why I don't believe in paying for antivirus programs like McAfee and Norton.

It is important to have antivirus software installed on your computer but you must also use common sense and keep your operating system and other software installed updated.

  1. Never click a link in your email or on a website unless you're absolutely sure it's legitimate. Clicking links that go to infected pages is one of the most common ways to get a virus. If you have any doubts, don't click the link.

  2. Never download software, games, or files (including mp3 music files) unless you know they're not infected. This is the second most common way to get infected.
    -Don't download free software or games unless you them from They guarantee the software won't have a virus or spyware attached.
    -Don't use Limewire or other file sharing programs. It's inexpensive to buy music through or
    -Be wary of files sent to you in your email. Even people you know can send you infected files so scan them before you open them.

  3. Install a free antivirus program. There is no silver bullet that can prevent every virus infection. Most virus infected computers I fix have either Norton or McAfee installed so I don't recommend them or any other antivirus program you have to pay for. Instead choose a free program from my Toolbox page. I recommend  Microsoft Security Essentials, Panda Cloud, AVG or AntiVir. You can find the links to them on my Toolbox page.

  4. Turn on Windows updates and set them to install automatically. You can do this in Control Panel > Windows Update. Most Windows updates are patches to plug security holes.

  5. Turn on the Windows firewall in Control Panel > Windows Firewall.

  6. Stop using Internet Explorer for web browsing. Use Google Chrome instead, it's faster and more secure.

  7. Back up important files on your PC to a flash drive or external hard drive regularly. 

  8. If you get a pop-up window on your computer that shows a computer virus scan and it tells you have a virus and that you need to click a link to buy software to remove it DON'T click any links or buy anything. That is a nasty virus. Use the free Malwarebytes to remove it or bring it to someone who can fix it. The worst thing you can do is continue using your computer on the internet after being infected. Viruses are like mice you never have just one and the problem will only get worse, even to the point of corrupting your operating system.

  9. If your computer starts showing pop-up windows, gets really slow or starts acting abnormally the first thing to do is restore your computer to an earlier time before you had the problem. Click the Windows Start button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Choose to restore your computer and pick a date on the calendar prior to your problem. This will take approx 15 minutes and your computer will reboot. Next install Malwarebytes, get current updates and run a quick scan. Remove anything it finds and it may ask you to reboot. Next run a full scan using your antivirus program (Microsoft Security Essentials, Panda Cloud, AVG or AntiVir). If your problem persists seek professional help but avoid companies that do virus removal over the internet and avoid Geek Squad. Find someone who charges less than $100 and guarantees their work. If they don’t fix your problem you should not have to pay them.

  10. Use CCleaner to speed up your PC and keep it running at optimal performance. I suggest running CCleaner every 2-4 weeks.

Good luck and happy computing!

Bert Moen

Computer Recovery Services


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