Computers can be severely damaged by malware, spyware and viruses. Sometimes, the damage is so bad that the hard drive has to be replaced. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent malware from infecting your computer. A computer that is already infected will have to be cleaned by a malware removal program to get the system running again.

A vital first step is to install anti-virus software on your computer and update it often. You will find user ratings of anti-virus software on software review sites. The creators of malware, spyware and viruses continually seek holes in anti-virus software. For this reason, make sure that you opt for software that is updated often and downloaded automatically.

Secondly, it is recommended that you install another anti-malware product. This product should also have high user ratings and come from a reliable provider who updates the product on a regular basis. Using two products to scan your computer increases the likelihood of finding threats and eradicating them.

You are now ready to use the anti-virus products. They are fairly easy to use. All you have to do is follow the prompts on the screen. If the product identifies a threat, it removes it immediately. Immediate virus removal is advantageous, as viruses tend to slow down computer speed.

In extreme cases, malware damage prevents the operating system from loading. When this happens, take a note of error messages. Next, use another computer to search the Internet for the type of malware associated with the messages. With any luck, you’ll come upon a website that gives instructions on how to eradicate the malware. If you can’t remedy the problem, you may need to seek help from an expert. You can try calling the help desk of the manufacturer of your computer. Or you can contact a computer repair company.

As a final point, make sure you always download the latest patches for your operating system. Creators of malicious software are always searching for gaps in operating systems. Any gaps in the system are then exploited to gain access to computers. It’s just as well that Microsoft continually develops security patches. The patches are developed to fix issues and ensure the security of Microsoft’s operating systems.

Most of the time, however, malware doesn’t cause too much damage. It can slow down your computer, initiate pop-ups, and send you to SPAM sites. But, occasionally, these malware programs can seriously harm a computer. Malicious code is also used by people who run scams to access passwords and login data. This can result in identity theft. For optimal protection, download a trustworthy malware removal program.