Scientific American presents Tech Talker by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

Last week I covered the steps to go through when trying to remove a nasty piece of malware from your computer. If you haven’t yet checked out last week’s episode, I recommend you do so now. Also, brush up on your virus knowledge with my episodes on the Anatomy of a Virus and how to Easily Remove a Virus.

In the previous episode of this series, I went over how to quarantine your computer, get a set of tools together, and run diagnostics to figure out what you’re dealing with. I mentioned at the end of last week’s episode that if you’re lucky enough to be reading or listening before something has happened to your computer, there are some steps you can take to make sure that if you do get a bad malware infection, you can be back up and running in no time at all.

The Image Backup
The best way to clean a system before it has been infected by malware is to restore it from an earlier time when there was no malware. This may sound like some computer magic but it’s actually a feature built into many modern operating systems and can be done easily on both Mac and PC computers.

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