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Retired
ThatGarenGuy
Posts: 575
Member Since: ‎11-10-2008
Message 1 of 26 (14,233 Views)

Virus Protection FAQ

[ Edited ]

 

My daughter has a laptop. Recently it developed (even with anti-virus sw installed) a fairly adaptable problem related to virus. I've found my knowledge has greatly increased recently about what is a virus, what is malware, and what can be done to keep your system clean. In her case, the only thing that really did it was to get as much of her data off the system and we started from scratch. Put us both a couple of days behind.

I'm encouraging our Super-Users and Ambassadors to get engaged in this conversations as well. From a "support" point of view, I don't care what anti-virus program you use. I know HP encourages a couple of specific ones, but know there are many out there that work well.  

 

 

What is a computer virus?

A computer virus is man-made computer code that disrupts your computer’s functions by infecting its programming and destroying data. The virus can be transmitted via an infected disc, over a network or the Internet, through downloads or by opening an infected e-mail.

How does a virus affect computer functions?

A virus disables the PC by reproducing itself in the computer's memory (RAM) or hard drive, where it can sometimes hide in documents or expand invisibly.

What are the “symptoms” of a PC virus?

  • On start-up, the computer screen displays an unexpected graphic, such as a famous person or holiday symbol, you did not create
  • Unusual or inexplicable error messages
  • Strange beeping or clicking noises, or music unrelated to what you are working on
  • Computer’s time and date are altered
  • Files are randomly corrupted
  • "Write protect errors" appear when opening .exe files
  • Inability to open certain files
  • Unusually long start-up and/or running time
  • Frequent freeze ups
  • Spontaneous shutdowns

 

What is the best protection against computer viruses?

An antivirus program will help keep your computer healthy and virus-free. The program automatically looks for viruses any time you download or open new software or e-mail. Popular antivirus programs include those made by Symantec. And if your computer runs Windows® XP, it automatically installs the software, virus updates and patches you need to keep your computer running smoothly whenever you connect to the Internet. Learn more about programs to protect your PC in Using antivirus software and Protecting your PC.

Be careful when downloading inexpensive or free "shareware" from the Internet. Also, be wary of incoming e-mail attachments. Many popular web-based e-mail providers, such as Yahoo! and MSN,® include virus scanning with their services. If you receive an e-mail that seems out of the ordinary, NEVER open the attachment and just delete the e-mail.

How can a “sick” computer be repaired?

If your system becomes infected and you don’t already have an antivirus program on your computer, install one as soon as possible. The program will scan your computer for viruses and remove them.

Can a virus affect other equipment attached to the computer?

Yes. Even though a virus usually affects only software, it can cause problems with other hardware such as printers, monitors and keyboard.

Are viruses the only threat to a computer?

Unfortunately not. Hackers and identity thieves can compromise the security of your system and your data. Make sure your PC is safe from more than just viruses.
Read
Protect your PC: firewalls to learn more.

________________________________________________________________________
HP Product Expert for the Officejet Pro X Series.
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CherylG
Posts: 22,342
Member Since: ‎11-12-2008
Message 2 of 26 (14,188 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

[ Edited ]

Today there are so many nasties lurking out there that an anti-virus alone is not enough protection. Even Facebook, a favorite social networking site for many of us is plagued with malware droppers via it's many apps that individual owners use. I have even been hit there on one occasion and my daughter's PC infected there. I say "I have even been" not being overly optimistic, but to mention that it happened in spite of the fact that I pride myself on keeping our machines very updated_Windows ,apps and Anti-virus. I also run Avira which is top rate anti-virus software,imo. But..I was hit at Facebook site. MalwareBytes was the tool I used to quickly annihilate the bugger. Super AntiSpyware is another good one I recommend.

 (MalwareBytes is so well known for removing nasties that it is blocked from installing by some trojans, so do not wait till you're infected.Install it now & have it ready to work.)

 

Always have a two stage protection_a good anti-virus app and a good malware /trojan cleaner! Never hurts to have 2 good malware/trojan removers installed.Unlike an Anti-virus where only 1 at a time should be installed.

And of course, can't overlook the optimum solution for getting a system back up and running clean_Imaging the hdd. Custom Recovery Options

 

 


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Bob_Headrick
Posts: 16,152
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 3 of 26 (14,170 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

In addition to a good antivirus program (I like AVG Free) it is important to have a good backup strategy.  While it may be possible to recover a system after an infection by installing an antivirus program and running its scans to remove the virii, I have also seen more destructive virius that delete critical portions of the hard drive information.    

 

It seems folks usually start thinking about a backup strategy shortly after  a virus or hardware issue has caused data loss.  Trust me, it is much better to get a regular backup strategy in place before you need it rather then try to deal with data recovery as an afterthought.

 

Having used many backup methods over the years (starting with 8" floppy disks...) I can attest that the best backup methods are those that happen automatically and regularly.  My current method uses a Windows Home Server to back up all the computers in the house each evening.   Windows Home Server does  automatic de-duplication so that duplicate data on different machines (or from different backups of the same machine) is not stored multiple times in the backup database.    As a result daily backups for six computers for a year may take less total disc space than the combined disk space of the six computers, with the ability to easily restore complete systems or individual files from any time in the past.  

Bob Headrick, Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of Microsoft or HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

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milesrf
Posts: 244
Member Since: ‎12-12-2008
Message 4 of 26 (13,977 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

Something to note:  You can safely have more than one antispyware program on a computer, since they do not interfere with each other, but should avoid having more than one antivirus program on each computer at any one time, since they do interfere with each other.

 

Also, when you get what looks like a warning that you have a virus or spyware and need to buy a specific antivirus or antispyware program to remove it - beware; do a web search for more information on that program first, since such messages often refer to fake antivirus or antispyware programs that will at best give you nothing in exchange for the money and at worst are likely to include several new viruses.

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CherylG
Posts: 22,342
Member Since: ‎11-12-2008
Message 5 of 26 (13,963 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

[ Edited ]

I am also a big fan of Imaging software,which can restore your machine in less than an hour to a pristine state..as long as you have an Image done while it is pristine. Paragaon and Macrium both have free versions that work well. I use Macrium and really like it. Both programs can backup to CD/DVD, external USB HDD (my preference) or network drive. Each lets you burn a boot cd to boot from and restore from an image even when your machine will not boot into Windows.

 

Macrium Reflect HERE

 

   

 

Paragon software HERE
 

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I-rate-2
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎06-02-2010
Message 6 of 26 (13,940 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

  For a beginner I thought the info on this page was great until I clicked  on "Protect your PC & Protecting your PC: Firewalls" and got a Error 403.... "this website declines to show this page" !!! Just more confusing stuff for me.

  I read another comment about someone's hard-drive going out  and having all kinds of problems w/ HP (the run-a-round). I guess now I'm happy I just went out and bought a new 500GB for just under 70 bucks, and HP charged way more than that. True I don't know what that person got, but still...WOW.

Retired
ThatGarenGuy
Posts: 575
Member Since: ‎11-10-2008
Message 7 of 26 (13,930 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ


I-rate-2 wrote:

  For a beginner I thought the info on this page was great until I clicked  on "Protect your PC & Protecting your PC: Firewalls" and got a Error 403.... "this website declines to show this page" !!! Just more confusing stuff for me.

 


Hi, Thanks for letting me know about the broken links. I've fixed them now and you should be able to get to some really good information and training guides.

________________________________________________________________________
HP Product Expert for the Officejet Pro X Series.
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edbergjun
Posts: 362
Member Since: ‎09-08-2009
Message 8 of 26 (13,918 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

thanks for he macrium cheryl, its like making a recovery disk in your own computer, ist very usefull,

 

im using McAfee viruscan enterprise, as i have oserved in other anti-virus programs, most of the can't detect those viruses that are hiding in system volume information, unlike McAfee cleans them all, also the task manager, run, regedit, msconfig and folder options that hided or disabled by viruses was healed by McAfee. 

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CherylG
Posts: 22,342
Member Since: ‎11-12-2008
Message 9 of 26 (13,871 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

@edbergjun

 

You're welcome. Macrium is indeed like creating your own personalized recovery. I have used it for awhile now and really like it and how fast it works.

 


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Matthew019
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎06-20-2010
Message 10 of 26 (13,712 Views)

Re: Virus Protection FAQ

[ Edited ]

A malware virus  is a catch-all term for any annoying or harmful software that makes its way onto a computer  or a network without the owner's awareness.

 

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† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation