How Can You Tell You Have a Computer Virus?

First thing to do is check for common problems associated with a virus infection

Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Security Center or Start > Control Panel > Security Center (for users not using the classic start menu). You can alternatively click on the Start button and type in “check security status”. The security Action Center will appear. Under the “Security” section make sure all options are turned ON and that Internet Security Settings is “OK”. If these settings are not On or OK that’s your first indication your computer could be infected. Next, check to see if you are currently running or already have a virus protection software package installed on your computer. Click the Start Menu and in the Search box start typing in names of common antivirus software programs.

Next, Go to Start and in the Search box type in “MRT”. A box will launch labeled “Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool”. Perform a scan with this Windows utility to determine whether you have a computer virus of not. However, this tool is not 100% accurate. There are some viruses that are savy enough to avoid Windows detection and after a Windows scan you will get a result of “No maclicious software was detected” instead of the name of the virus.

Computer Symptoms: TellTale Signs Your Computer is Infected

Since not every Windows virus detection tool can spot an active virus on your machine, the best way to tell if you have a virus is to look for telltale signs you are infected. One such way is by testing your computer’s speed. Many viruses will attempt to slow down your software and the hardware itself. Is your PC slower than usual? Do applications take a long time to load or respond? Does your system take a long time booting up?

Does your computer reboot or shut down without warning? Does it crash often? Then you could have a virus. Do you try to launch software only to have it fail to open or crash unexpectedly? Do you get strange error messages on your PC. Does your browser fail to open or all of a sudden goes to a website upon launch you have never seen or been to before? If you try to type on your keyboard, does it type what you input correctly? Does your cursor jump to different parts of the screen unexpectedly?

What Is The Nature of a Computer Virus?

People build computer viruses typically for a couple of reasons.

1. 1st, is to slow down your PC or make it as unusable as possible. This is accompanied by what would appear to be notification from some software you don’t remember you installed, explaining that you have a virus and you must pay (typically a very large amount of money) in order to have it removed This “Software” is part of the virus and is designed to allow you to believe that it is a tool that will cure your computer. It is designed so you pay the money to “download” the antivirus software and then the software will fix your computer. This usually does not get rid of the software and the computer owner is usually out a hundred dollars or more.

2. Secondly, a lot of computer viruses are designed for the developer to be able to remotely control your computer or search out and report back valuable information. There exists a number of different types of viruses which search out credit card and bank account information and report that information back to the virus developers. Some viruses also allow virus makers to actually remote into a computer so they can snoop around or watch all of the moves a computer owner is making. This gives the virus makers the ability to get as much valuable information about you as possible to assist in blackmailing or simply stealing your money or assets.

Do You Think Your Computer Might Be Infected?

If you think your computer might be infected, it’s best to go to a reputable website, if your browser works, and run a free virus scan. We recommend using the free virus scanner. In our tests scanners had the highest success rate at identifying rogues, viruses, trojan horses, worms and all other malicious types of infections. If your internet browser is not working, then it is best to try to do a system restore. Pop in your Windows Install DVD and attempt to reinstall your operating. Be careful not to overwrite all your important files and applications. From the Windows DVD it is possible to choose to simply reinstall all system files and the Windows OS. You may lose some of your settings but this is a much better option than losing all your files.

We do not recommend trying to fix your computer yourself. The best way to get rid of computer viruses is to go to a website designed to professionally scan your PC or call a service which can remote into your machine and check your system for viruses for you. Expert techs will assess exactly what infection a computer has and they are professionals at eliminating all traces of the virus without having to resort to reinstalling your operating system.

Whatever action you end up doing it is extremely important to get rid of that nasty computer virus as soon as you can. Each day that passes makes you more and more susceptible to have your and your loved one’s personal and financial information stolen. Good luck.

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