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What do I do if I get a virus on a computer that has up to date Internet security software installed? Does the software publisher retain any responsibility for damages? If I remove the virus, am I at a higher risk for invasion again?

Posted on May 14, 2011
Even with the most up-to-date Internet security software, it is still possible to get a virus on your computer. Why? Because Internet security software works by constantly adding new virus definitions, as new viruses are discovered. But in order to add a new definition update for a virus, computers have to be infected with the virus in the first place, so that antivirus companies can figure out how to target the threat.
 
If by chance your computer does get a virus, and your Internet security software is up to date, there are still some other things that you can do to try and save your files. Most viruses are not designed to destroy all of your files the minute they infect your computer. Even after a virus has clearly installed itself on your computer, there is still a chance that you can stop it from doing any damage. Here is what you should do if you get a virus:
 
Immediately shut down your computer.
 
Find another computer, and use it to search for some alternative antivirus software that you can try. Some recommended free solutions include AVG and Avast, but it is always worthwhile running with a premium paid service such as those provided by companies in the mould of Norton or Kaspersky. Some companies release virus definition updates sooner than others. Chances are you can still remove the virus on your computer using a different antivirus program. If you have any idea what type of virus has infected your computer, you can use that information to find an antivirus that you are positive will remove it.
 
Download one or several of the alternative antivirus softwares. Transfer the installer files to a USB flash drive or external hard drive.
 
Start up the infected computer. Immediately after Windows loads, connect your USB flash drive or external hard drive to the computer. Copy the antivirus installer files to the computer and install the new antivirus software as quickly as possible.
 
Update the virus definitions on the new antivirus (if necessary) and run a full-scan.
 
More times than you may believe, the above solution will work; given that you find an alternative antivirus program that is capable of removing the virus.
 
If you are successful at removing the virus, your computer is not usually at a higher risk of virus invasions in the future. If anything, you are at a lower risk because you have gained more knowledge on how to remove viruses and protect your computer. One thing to consider: if a certain antivirus program was successful at removing the virus, consider switching to it. You now know that this antivirus program is up-to-date and effective at removing viruses.
 
Sometimes, virus scanners will only remove partial elements of a virus. Meaning that, some of the virus could still be on your computer. Although it may seem like your computer is running fine at the moment, it’s still wise to run a couple of additional scans to see if they find any other viruses.
 
If you want to be sure that there are absolutely no viruses on your computer, you can backup your files, erase all of the information on your hard drive, and reinstall the operating system.
 
Should you not be able to remove the virus, and it does damage your files, you still have a couple of options. The first thing that you may be wondering, does the antivirus software publisher retain any responsibility for damages? You are probably not going to like this answer, but 99% of the time No, and definitely not if you were using a free antivirus software solution. The reasoning behind this is how do you put a price on data? If a software company were to offer a guarantee that “if you get a virus we will compensate you”, what would the rate be? How would they know how much data you lost, and the importance of that said data? The majority of the time, if you get a virus, it’s your own fault. Most viruses get onto computers from unsafe websites, and by people downloading illegal software.  
 
In a rare instance that you purchased your antivirus software within the past 30 days, you can probably get your money back. For cases such as this, it’s best to contact the customer support department for your antivirus software.
 
You do have a couple of last resort options too. You can try to recover your data using a special recovery program. Most data recovery procedures work by pulling your computer’s hard drive and connecting it to another computer externally. From there, some data can be recovered and moved off of the drive using recovery software. Also many computer repair companies offer data recovery services such as these.
 


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