How can I recover from a virus attack?

Friday, December 17th, 2010 | technology

Does the following sound familiar to you?

You went for your annual anti-virus flu injection; you took your vitamin tablets regularly; and you went out of your way to stay out of the way of people with flu symptoms.  In spite of all these precautions, one morning you woke up with a sore throat and a throbbing headache.  The flu virus got the better of you!  That is when you rushed off to the doctor for advice and a cure.

After taking all necessary precautions to protect your computer against virus attacks, it may still become a victim.  Perhaps you were not as vigilant in updating the anti-virus software as you should have been, or it could be that a new virus strikes for which no antidote yet exists.  Remember, the programmers who create the viruses want to cause harm, and when the antidote prevents their latest virus to harm you, they simply create another one.

What do you do when your computer becomes a virus casualty?  In some cases the anti-virus software may act like an antibiotic and isolate and remove the virus.  If this does not happen and it becomes clear that the virus is wreaking havoc, switch off the machine and get expert help.

In many cases a technically competent person will be able to save the situation.  But in the worst case scenario your machine can be cleaned, the hard disk reformatted and the programs and data files reloaded.  This will give you a clean start.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Virus infections have proved this saying true over and over.  If your computer has ever been a victim of a virus attack, you’ll realise the importance of doing everything in your power to prevent the next one.

Don’t let the possibility of a computer virus stand in your way to use technology in your classroom.  Protect your computer as well as possible.  A virus can not destroy your equipment.  The worst that can happen is the destruction of your programs and data.  True, this is an annoyance – but it is a situation that can be remedied.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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3 Comments to How can I recover from a virus attack?

Mark C
Friday, 17 December, 2010

If you have data saved on the laptop it could still possibly be saved. There are some techies who have rescue disks (Kaspersky on CD is an example). If yoy buy an antivirus check if there is a possibility of getting a rescue disk or making one.

If you don’t have a rescue disk you could save data by using a free live Linux CD. Ubuntu will do.

In both cases you have to start the laptop up with the CD. The former solution will scan your PC and remove the virus. But you have have to lose some files in the process. In the latter solution you need to know where to look for your files. In both cases you need to know something of how to approach removing viruses. In both cases there may be a loss of data.

The other thing is that prevention is better than a cure. Keep the antivirus up-to-date as much as possible. Also, there are a number of free versions of AV scanners such as AVG, Avast and in some cases MacAfee. If you have a legal version of Windows (XP/Vista/Windows7) you can download Microsoft’s Security Essentials for free. You need to know a little of info about your machine to download the correct version (eg 32-bit, 64-bit, etc).
You will not get rid of all viruses but at least you will keep some at bay.

Mark C
Friday, 17 December, 2010

Oops! Instead of save data I mean recover data. Sorry for the grammatical/spelling errors. Brain-on-leave!

Kobus van Wyk
Friday, 17 December, 2010

Mark, thanks so much for the valuable comments you’ve been making – particularly on this post and the recent ones about viruses. Those who do not know you must be informed that you are an absolute guru on viruses … you spend most of your working like helping schools and teachers whose technology is failing them. And in most cases the problem lies with a virus infestation. We still have to go a long way in educating the folks in the teaching profession about the importance of virus protection.

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