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[15+ Ways] How to Check Your Device for Viruses?

How to Check Your Device for Viruses

[15+ Ways] How to Check Your Device for Viruses?

The internet is an amazing resource that can help you find nearly any information imaginable. However, it also poses some inherent risks due to the lack of personal safety measures taken when using the computer for searching. Your device may be infected with malware or other viruses that could damage your data and erode your privacy. Follow these steps to safeguard your device against malicious activity so you can feel confident in what you’re finding online!

1. Check for updates.

Before you start any browsing, check to make sure your device is running the latest version of its operating system. If you’re using an iOS device (such as an iPad or iPhone), this can be done by navigating to “Settings” > “General” > “Software Update.” Android users should navigate to “Settings” > “About Phone/Tablet” > “System Updates,” and Windows users should check under the “Start” button in the lower-left corner of the screen and navigate to “Settings.”

2. Use antivirus software.

Your device’s built-in antivirus programs, such as McAfee or Avast, can be a powerful ally against malware and viruses. These programs can identify any suspicious activity and quarantine it to prevent the spread of infections. If you’re using an iOS device, Apple offers built-in antivirus software to help safeguard your device against threats. Third-party antivirus apps are also available for free download on Android devices, and Windows users can download virus protection software directly from Microsoft’s website.

3. Back up your files.

Make sure your device is regularly backing up its contents to an external hard drive or cloud storage (such as iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox). This helps ensure that if any data is lost due to a computer virus, you’ll be able to restore it from the backup. If you’re using iOS devices, iCloud is Apple’s recommended service; Android users can back up their files to a Google Drive account, and Windows users should turn to Microsoft OneDrive.

4. Turn off Public Network Sharing.

When browsing the internet on a public network, you risk exposing your personal information to nearby individuals who might use it for criminal or malicious purposes. To ensure your safety, navigate to the device’s “Settings” menu and disable the “Wi-Fi Sharing” feature.

5. Eliminate unused programs.

Harmful viruses can sometimes hide within seemingly harmless programs, so you should take the time to remove any software that you don’t plan on using. These can include games, utilities, or media players.

6. Update your passwords frequently.

Allowing old passwords to remain saved on your device increases the likelihood that someone will be able to access your accounts without permission. To avoid this, you should update all of your passwords using special characters and numbers every couple of months or so. If you’re not sure how to do this, follow the steps provided by this guide.

7. Pay close attention to your web browser.

You must keep a close eye on what sites and information your device’s web browser is requesting and accepting from the internet at large. Web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome can send out push notifications whenever a download is happening, so make sure to keep an eye out for these.

8. Be wary of online advertisements and website redirects.

Pop-up ads can sometimes contain malware, so you’ll want to steer clear of them whenever possible. Savvy computer users recommend using an ad blocker to circumvent this issue. You should also avoid clicking on strange or unusual links, as they can sometimes lead to malicious websites. On a related note, you should be wary of going to sites that automatically redirect you from one page to another – this means someone is trying to send you a link with a virus! If possible, try navigating these pages manually so you can look up the information yourself.

9. Install reputable security software.

Though antivirus programs are already included with both Android and iOS devices, you’ll want to download an additional piece of security software that can scan your device’s contents for any viruses. Two reputable options include AVG Antivirus Free Edition and Avast AntiVirus Free. Windows users should try out Microsoft Security Essentials, while Mac users should consider installing Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac.

10. Turn on your firewall whenever possible.

To help keep harmful viruses off of your device, you may want to enable the firewall option that’s built into Windows systems. If a virus somehow manages to slip onto your machine, a properly set up firewall should prevent it from accessing other areas of the system.

11. Don’t click on suspicious emails or attachments.

You should always be wary about what you click on and where it comes from. If you receive an email that seems to come from a legitimate source and contains a harmful link or attachment, don’t open it! This goes double if the sender is a stranger.

12. Keep a close eye on your antivirus software.

You should regularly check to make sure that your chosen antivirus software is still up-to-date and working properly. If you aren’t sure how to do this, the package’s manufacturer usually includes a built-in tool for managing these updates easily.

13. Keep your anti-malware software up to date.

You should also regularly check the manufacturer’s website for any updates to your anti-malware software. If you aren’t sure how to do this, the package’s manufacturer usually includes a built-in tool for managing these updates easily.

14. Delete suspicious emails or texts.

Whether you receive them via SMS or email, always delete suspicious messages and texts. You won’t know whether they contain a virus until it’s too late if you don’t!

15. Understand the difference between viruses and malware.

Though most people use these terms interchangeably, there is a small but distinct difference between viruses and malware. Viruses are more like programs that can reproduce themselves and spread to other devices while malware is usually a virus, but it does something else besides reproducing.

16. Delete suspicious apps.

Harmful viruses can also show up in your app store and cause trouble for you and your device’s system. To avoid this issue, always check what you’re downloading before you install it, and if it seems suspicious, don’t download it!

17. Stop using your device immediately.

If you detect any unusual activity on your device or find that it doesn’t seem to be working correctly anymore, stop using it right away. If possible, turn off the power completely so no viruses can run rampant. Then, take your device to a professional so they can perform a proper virus scan and restore the device to its former glory.


You’ve now learned how to check your device for viruses and what you should do if you find one. If the process seems daunting, don’t worry! We’re here to help. Our team of experts can create a custom plan that will protect both your computer and mobile devices from harmful threats. Contact us today for more information on our services or to set up an appointment with one of our technicians to get started right away!

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