With all the viruses and infection spreading around on the internet, you cannot be too sure that you are completely safe. There are a few steps you can take to ensure you're personal devices are infection free.
Install an Anti-Virus software
This is an obvious step you should always take. Without anti-virus software, you're pretty much leaving your front door wide open and welcoming anything that comes through. Of course no one in this day and age would do that, so why do that to your computer?
There are many anti-virus software available such as Bitdefender Internet Security or Kaspersky Internet Security which do cost money however if you are living the life with less luxury then you can download their free alternative solutions below.
Free Anti-virus does it's job well to tackle and remove viruses however you will lack additional features such as web-browsing protection and privacy protection.
Windows 10 does come with it's built security software called Windows Defender but it is always best to opt for a more professional solution.
Before you MacOS users say "Mac's can't get viruses", you should know that you are still open to threats. Sure, Apple computers are less likely to be infected however I would still advise getting an anti-virus for your machine too.
Slowdowns and random freezing
Is your computer slowing down or just randomly hanging at certain times? There could be many reasons why computers have these issues but you should always check.
With my previous mention, make sure you install an anti-virus software and then run a full scan on your system. Depending on how much data you have stored and the speed of you PC, a scan could take a few hours to complete.
If the anti-virus software found threats on your system then you should go with the recommended solution that your anti-virus software recommends (which is normally "Quarantine") and then reboot your system.
If your anti-virus software doesn't find anything or if your PC is still running slow after the quarantine then this may in fact be a hardware problem which I can discuss further in another topic.
Don't put your faith into one virus scanner
Why? Because there is always a type of virus that escapes the clutches of your anti-virus software. If I believe a virus has spread onto a machine then I will always use a second or even third piece of software to make sure the computer is virus free.
Malwarebytes is a well known anti-malware software to use when all hope is lost. It typically scans for all types of viruses and can even identify unsafe browser add-ins or extensions which traditional anti-virus software cannot pick up.
Malwarebytes is free and offers a 14 day trial for their premium services however once you end that 14 day period you will lose features such as active monitoring and alerts for your system.
You can download Malwarebytes here for free.
Reinstall your Operating system
Most probably you are down to your last resort and you have no other choice but to factory reset your machine back to how it was in the beginning. This task will take a bigger effort because you will need to back up your files before proceeding unless you already have a backup solution in place (good on you) then go ahead my friend.
Sometimes when a machine is just so slow and buggy that you have no option but to reset it back to start which will give it a clean slate. Of course you will need to restore your files back and even re-download your programs that you previously had installed.
Resetting your PC is also a good way to ensure that any viruses or threats that lurked around your system will be completely gone. You can learn how to reset your Windows 10 PC here. For Mac users, you can go here.