There are no excuses not to protect your PC from harm when it comes to viruses. Unfortunately that means I don’t have the right to complain after losing all my files and photographs. Last week I noticed that my PC was acting strangely. All the pages were taking a long time to load when I went on the Internet and it kept turning itself off. I was beginning to think I had a problem when suddenly I was unable to boot up the system. The whole PC had crashed.
If you think you might have a virus here are some tell-tale signs
One common question we here is “how do I know I have a virus?” Well here are a few clues.
- Everything slows down and feels sluggish. You might find the computer is running harder in order to perform the simplest tasks, and it may feel hotter die to the amount of energy it is using.
- Starting up the computer takes a long time. You could have malware which needs to be started up at the same time, slowing everything down. You can check to see which programs start up when your computer does by clicking on the start menu, then run and type in MSCONFIG and start up. If there is anything you don’t recognise this could be a virus or malware. Google the name of the file to check if it is anything legitimate.
- If you have more toolbars on your browser that is a good indicator that spyware has been downloaded. The spyware will track how you use the computer and gather information about you.
- Your browser crashes frequently will definitely be a case of an infection. You may find that your homepage is changed which is caused by the hijacker trying to send you to a website which is infected.
- Your browser loads to a page you aren’t searching for. You can be sure your computer has been hijacked and infected if the address bar isn’t loading the page you have requested.
- When you try to access your folder options you may not be able to if you have a virus. Check by going into My Computer, clicking tools followed by folder options. See if you can access the hidden and system files or if they are read only. You can change them from this window if the virus has been removed, but if it hasn’t you will need to do a scan and delete the infected files first.
- Type in the name of your hard drive followed by :/autorun.inf into your search bar in the start-up menu. You have a virus if this opens into a notepad file and has an unidentified file or EXE reference.
How to Get Rid of the Virus
Prevention is always better than the cure but you can remove malware, spyware and most viruses without losing any files or requiring a system reboot. Download a decent antivirus protection and set it to scan your whole computer. You might be tempted to choose the quick option but choose the full scan to ensure all files are scanned properly. Viruses try very hard not to be located and a quick scan is not suitable at this time.
Let the scan work its magic and you should be shown a list of all types of viruses once it has been completed. Delete them all, restart your computer and you should see a huge difference in speed and performance. Once you have completed the full scan set up an automatic scan at regular intervals. Between these scan times you can run quick scans just to be on the safe side.
To tell the truth. If you don’t act fast and do exactly what is needed, the virus basically can eat away at your computer until you can no longer start it to do a repair. I have seen this many times and after that, the only solution is to remove the hard drive and work on it externally. Therefore if you have no idea how to remove a virus then please take your infected computer directly to someone that does.
If the problems continue after scanning your computer you might have more than just a normal virus. Sometimes a rootkit virus can be hiding on your computer and causing havoc. These viruses are not so obvious.
When my computer was infected I lost all of my data. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Backup your files and keep your antivirus program running at all times.