Perform a quick, prophylactic installed software check after a virus detection

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Based on our experience here at the helpdesk, the most prevalent type of malware these days does damage by installing other software without your permission.

The virus gets detected and blocked, but there's a chance that the virus managed to install something before it was blocked, and it's a good practice to do a quick sanity check even after the infection has been quarantined.

There are other good practices (such as running under a standard user account, rather than administrator - and blocking installs from temporary locations), but the reality is that for most folks, the only defense is having a good antivirus software installed.

This tip is not intended to describe all post-infection remediation techniques, but rather to show a quick way to verify that nothing untoward has been installed without your permission. If you see strange PC behavior, this would also be the first thing to check - among other things.

So, head on to the Control Panel, find Programs and Features, and open it. Now comes the tip: click on the "Installed On" column header and sort installed programs in descending order, last installed on top.

This will show you if anything has been installed on the date of the infection, and if you don't recognize or are concerned about any software at the top of the list, remove it (after consulting with your IT support), or send us a support request if you need help and nowhere to turn!

Images below show where you perform the steps described above on a Windows 8.1 PC.

Find Programs and Features in the Control Panel:

Sort installed programs by "Installed On" column.

And here's a definition of prophylactic, just in case.

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