Steps to Restore an Infected Computer After a Virus Attack

Small businesses need to be aware of threats to their network. Viruses often get onto company computers through email attachments. It’s important for every employee to know and understand which attachments are safe and which ones should never be opened. Employees should not open or read their personal email at work to avoid infecting the network with malware sent to their private email address. Despite these guidelines, company computers may be affected by viruses. To ensure the entire network is not affected by one infected computer, employees should know the initial steps to take if a virus infects their computer.

The first step is to isolate the computer. Typically, this means unplugging it immediately. Once the computer is unplugged, it cannot infect others. In some cases, the antivirus that is currently installed will be able to detect and remove the virus. Sometimes though, the computer must be connected to an Internet line that is not also connected to the network. In order to remove the virus, it must first be identified. After the name of the virus is known, a tool can often be downloaded to remove it. However, in some cases, the virus will need to be eradicated manually.

When this happens, it’s critical to follow every step of the removal process. Deleting the original file usually will not remove the virus. Once it’s activated, a virus may affect multiple files, including those in the registry. Missing just one of the infected files could result in the virus reinfecting the computer and if it is reconnected to the network without all of the infected files deleted, it could spread to other computers.

Regardless of how quickly a virus is detected and eradicated, it will likely damage some of the files on the computer. Before reconnecting the device to the network, the damaged files should be restored from the backup data. Backing up network computers daily can prevent lost data caused by viruses. Although an antivirus may prevent many viruses from installing themselves on a network computer, because new and more advanced malware is developed regularly, none of them are effective at preventing all viruses.