A virus scanner ensures that your computer is not vulnerable to viruses. It is the most important piece of software for protecting your computer and your data. Although no virus scanner offers 100% protection, installing one is crucial.
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Choose an antivirus immediately and scan your computer
Select a virus scanner by comparing the quality and features of the various virus scanners. Choose a virus scanner that activates every time you open a file or click on a link, and also when you explicitly request it to do so.
What risks do you want to protect your computer against?
Every virus scanner protects you against current viruses, 'worms' and other forms of malicious cyber infections, but you can often opt for extra features.
Compare free and paying virus scanners
Do not be fooled by the price of a virus scanner. More expensive does not necessarily mean more efficient. Free virus scanners also do a good job. Always check what is included in the package of a free or 'cheaper' version: which features are available, how much support is provided, how often you are shown ads, etc. If you opt for a 'more expensive' version, be sure to calculate the total price for a specific period. Check whether additional costs are charged for updates or support.
Make sure your virus scanner is up to date
Unfortunately, new viruses are developed every day. That is why it is essential that you always install the latest updates offered by your virus scanner. Most virus scanners let you opt to have these updates installed automatically and to have a scan run regularly.
Be wary of fake scanners!
You will find a large selection of virus scanners on the Internet. However, they cannot all be trusted. There are examples of programs advertised as virus scanners that infect your computer with viruses or steal credit card data, for example. Click here for a list of reliable virus scanners. Or ask your internet provider or bank which virus scanners they recommend.
How can you tell if your device has been infected with a virus?
If your device’s antivirus software informs you that it has found a virus, it has usually succeeded in removing the infection. However, if you receive a notification of infection via the Safeonweb app or notice some of the following warning signs, this may indicate that there is a virus on your device:
- Your device has become noticeably slower, freezes or crashes often.
- You have been locked out of your device, an account, or certain files.
- You get unusual errors.
- You are spammed with annoying pop-up messages.
- Your browser’s home page has changed, bookmarks have been added or new extensions have been installed without your permission.
- Your contacts are getting strange messages from you.
- Icons or programmes that you do not recognise appear.
- Your device switches itself off and then restarts.
- Your antivirus software repeatedly warns you that it has been disabled.
- Your access to system tools such as the Control Panel has been disabled.
How can you prevent your device from becoming infected with a virus?
- Keep your devices and browser up to date.
- Protect your devices with antivirus software and make sure it is up to date. After performing an antivirus scan, carefully check the scan results to make sure that all viruses have been removed.
- Think twice before clicking on a link or downloading something and be careful when opening e-mail attachments or images. Outsmart a phisher.
- Only download software from a supplier or a product you know. Do not trust pop-up windows that ask you to download software.
- Only download apps from official app stores (Google Play and App Store).
- Follow the instructions for installing Internet-connected devices (IoT devices, smart devices, etc.). Change the default passwords.