Microsoft provides a tool to help clean computers that have been infected by specific viruses or malware. The Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool is used to remove these infections, not to prevent them. In the past, viruses like Sasser and Blaster would spread quickly among PCs that were not patched or protected by antivirus or firewalls.
This is a utility designed to clean up these types of viruese so they cannot continue to mutate and spread from machine to machine. If you have an older machine that might have been in operation for long periods of time without Microsoft Security updates, download and run this tool to scan for infection.
Protect Your Computer From Future Infection
Once you run the scan and remove any malicious software this tool finds, be sure to run a complete scan again. After that, you’ll need to do the following things to help prevent getting viruses in the future:
- Get Automatic Updates from Windows. Making sure your machine automatically downloads and installs security patches is the first step in preventing exploits.
- Run an Antivirus on your computer. There are many free and commercial antivirus programs. It doesn’t matter which you use, as long as you use one.
- Enable Windows firewall. If you have a computer earlier than Windows XP SP2, you’ll want to get a software firewall. If you’re behind a router, this isn’t necessary as the router is a firewall. Some people prefer to use both a software firewall and a hardware firewall (router).
- Do not open email attachments. Email attachments can contain files that execute when you open them. Email is a primary distribution method for viruses.
- Stay away from websites that might be shady.