Recognizing a Computer Virus
Does your computer feel “sick”? Are you asking the question, “Do I know if I have a virus?” Have you been lax about keeping up those healthy computer habits? Any advice on virusesreally needs to start with:
Prevention is the name of the virus game. Be sure to have a good antivirus program and update it regularly. You will also want to make sure that your Internet browser and operating system have had all the necessary security patches applied.
Is It Really A Virus?
You may think you have a virus, but how do you really tell? Viruses often cause erratic behavior, smiley faces may pop up, your screen may disappear, or your computer may crash. The trigger that activates the virus can be almost anything. For instance, the virus can be activated the minute it is installed. Or it may start its dirty work the next time you start your computer. In many cases, a virus can reside inside your computer in an inactive state, waiting for a certain event (like a certain date) to happen.
From the moment the virus infiltrated your computer to the time that it made itself known to you, you could have innocently spread the virus to others. A very disconcerting sign that you have a virus is when friends call or e-mail to let you know you have sent them a virus-infested e-mail.
A Scan Is Necessary
So you suspect you have a virus. How do you find out for sure? If your anti- virus software has been disabled and you can’t seem to access it, then you probably have a virus. If not, scan your system for viruses with your anti-virus software and analyze the results.
If the virus scanfinds an infection, it will give you the name of the virus or viruses that you have contracted. If your computer is contaminated, you need to take immediate action. Depending on the severity of the virus, the health of your computer as well as the security of your computer data may be at risk. Viruses vary in severity. You may be able to eliminate the virus and repair the damage yourself. Others can be very nasty, and require an experienced tech. Preferably The Cheap Geek, right?