We're so used to having email in our lives now that we can see it as innocuous and non-threatening, but the truth is many computer viruses are spread through the system. Computers can catch a virus in many ways. Sometimes you do not even have to open an infected email; you just have to view it in the preview screen of your email inbox. Other times, the virus is a Trojan and you have to open the attachment in the infected email to unleash the virus. Perhaps you believe the attachment is a game or an application, but once you open it, it is unusable. At this point, the virus has escaped and is wreaking havoc in your home computer (opens in new tab).
Aside from getting hold of the best antivirus software (opens in new tab), the best strategy to fight these viruses is prevention. If you see an email from a complete stranger, report it as spam. If you get an email from a friend or family member but the subject seems off, delete it without opening it. If it keeps recurring, report it as spam. Tell your family member or friend that you believe that their email account has been compromised and that a virus is using their contact list to send out copies of itself. Do not open attachments to emails that seem questionable. If a friend or family member contacts you with this information, you know for sure that your computer has been compromised. You may have to close your email account and start over, which is definitely not a fun process.
Sometimes you won't know if your computer has a virus. Other times it will be painfully obvious. Viruses can corrupt files, delete software or system files, or make your computer run slow. Or you might notice that your files have moved around. Your computer may be very slow to start up, or you will notice less memory or hard drive space.
So, how do you remove the email virus?
The solution? You must do a system check with your antivirus software. Most antivirus software will be able to clean up these viruses. This software is often not free, but it is essential. Computers today are so interconnected; if you check your email, you are at risk for contracting these viruses. If you want to be able to keep checking your email, you'd better get antivirus software! It is well worth the money. This software will run a scan on your computer and detect all threats. Once the threats have been discovered, the software will automatically take care of them. It is important to go with a reputable antivirus software company, because there is fake antivirus software out there that will do the exact opposite of what you want it to do; it will wreak further havoc on your system rather than clean it up.
Don't use internet security software (opens in new tab), and your problems will get serious, very quickly. If it is too late and your whole system has been compromised, you may have to start over by reinstalling your computer's operating system. In addition, your files and any personal information saved on your computer may now be gone.
Every computer is at risk for email viruses. You do your best to block these viruses by not opening suspicious emails, and you will always have antivirus software to clean up your system if a virus sneaks through your security net. That way you will be able to continue to play games, email and even work on your computer without worrying about viral threats!