When your computer picks up a virus, you are often left scrambling. What are you supposed to do next? How do you keep the rest of your system safe? If you have been hit with a virus, make sure you are following these steps to keep your confidential data as safe as possible.
Step One: Remove the Infected System from the Network
The first step in keeping the rest of your computers safe is isolating the infected machine. Just like you would not want someone with the flu running amok around your office, infecting everyone in the building, you do not want your infected machine to share its virus with the others. That does not mean you have to quarantine the machine physically, but you should remove it from the network to keep other devices safe. This will also ensure that the rest of your business can continue to function while you deal with the infected machine.
Step Two: Run a Full-System Scan
Do you know that you have a virus because your antivirus software caught it, or are you experiencing system problems? Run a full system scan with your antivirus software to ensure that your machine can catch any malware that might be attempting to attack. The scan should isolate the malware and allow you to remove it from your system. If you know that you are having serious problems, go ahead and run the most advanced type of scan on the infected system. Expect it to take some time to complete: some scans may take several hours to finish.
Step Three: Examine the Report
After you run your antivirus scan, what does the report say? Take the time to read the report, then take the recommended actions for your infected system. Ideally, this will allow you to remove the virus from your system. It may be necessary to delete and reinstall specific pieces of software to take care of the virus. You may also need to reinstall particular programs that were infected.
Step Four: Wipe the System
In some cases, you may not be able to remove the virus from your system. In this case, the tech team may need to wipe the system and reinstall all necessary software and programs. Try to ensure that all critical files are backed up before proceeding.
Step Five: Evaluate Your Other Machines
You do not think the virus made it to more than one system, but you do not want to take unnecessary risks, either. Once you have fixed one machine, it is time to evaluate the others. Run antivirus scans on your other machines and make any recommended actions as soon as possible. Remember, the longer a virus has to burrow into your network, the harder it can be to eradicate. Act fast to provide protection for your vital systems and keep your network running more smoothly.
Step Six: Schedule a Security Evaluation
You have seen a virus once. Now, you never want to look at one again. While even security specialists cannot provide 100% protection for your network, they can significantly decrease the odds that your system will be infected again. Schedule a network security evaluation to help identify potential holes in your network, ensure that your software is up to date and ready to serve its purpose, and provide increased protection for your network.
If you are ready to improve the overall security of your system, do not wait. Download our free e-book now to learn more about how to secure your network and provide greater protection for your business, your clients, and your employees. Ready to take more serious security measures? Contact Total Computer Solutions to learn more about our security services or to schedule your network security evaluation.