Is Your Computer Infected With A Virus?
Computer viruses have always been cleverly designed and disguised so that they can easily sneak into your computer and do their work, sometimes even without any signs of their activity. Even though you can keep computer viruses away, with a bit of common sense, in other words, keeping away from suspicious sites, and using a free antivirus, like Avira, !avast or others, some people get really paranoid about viruses and every time something doesn’t seem right, they drop everything and start scanning their machine. That’s not a bad idea, but it might take time. So, here are a few things to know about computer viruses.
How To Know Your Computer Was Infected?
Here are a few common symptoms of an infected computer:
1. Computer running slowly. Of course, that may occur due to other reasons, for example you have too many applications running, you have a stuffed memory cache and registries, or simply your hard drive or RAMs are nearly done. But if you’re not doing anything that might render your computer slow, like for example, you’re just reading an article on the internet, without any other apps running, and your HDD starts flashing like crazy, and keeps on doing that, it might be a sign a program sends data. And that program might be a trojan.
2. Computer freezes often, or certain programs run slowly. Of course, these can also be signs of nearly done components, or badly installed programs, but if anything else seems fine, until you start running a certain program, it’s a sign it might have “something hidden” in it.
3. Files or folders mysteriously disappear. Certain viruses, delete various files, or change them. If this happens frequently, you should scan your computer.
4. Too many pop-ups. Certain viruses create openings in your pop-up blocker or firewall, for certain ads or commercial banners. If you start getting pop-ups frequently, especially if they’re the same pop-ups, not different ones every time, you should look for viruses.
5. Browsers don’t function properly. In other words, you can’t access certain pages or you cannot close certain pages.
6. You OS doesn’t load when starting your computer. Or, your operating system will not shut off.
7. Friends tell you that you’ve sent them odd messages. Certain viruses enter a computer and use it (and your data) to send messages (usually advertising messages) to other computers.
8. Certain programs are immediately shut down when you run them. And here, you should be aware that there are viruses which disable your antivirus when the computer starts. Or various programs start running randomly, without you accessing them.
What Damage Can A Virus Do?
Some of the damage has been mentioned in the section above. In general, a virus can make your computer running slowly by taking a lot of memory space with its activity, bomb you with ads or impede the browsers functions. It can send precious data (like card number, important user/password information etc) to a remote server and lead to someone stealing your money from you. It can delete important files and folders, robbing you from hours or even months of work (if you don’t have backups, of course). It can send you threat messages, in order to make you buy a certain solution for an inexistent problem. Can create holes into your firewall or create backdoors for certain other programs to enter your computer and use it for various purposes. These are the most frequent actions a computer virus can do.
What To Do If You Get A Virus?
First of all, don’t panic. Second, scan your computer with an online antimalware program, like ESET, BitDefender etc. Install a free antivirus. These will probably locate and delete your virus.
Certain viruses can be manually removed, without an antivirus. For example, the infomash virus. And in case you get this one, check this guide: infomash virus removal. It worked for me.
However, if the viruses persist, despite your antivirus, you might have to reinstall your OS. But keep in mind that some viruses might be hooked onto some of your backup files, and even if you reinstall Windows, when you re-copy your work on the computer with a freshly installed Windows, you might end up with the virus once again.