A computer virus is a malicious code or program written to alter how a computer system operates, harms the system software by corrupting and destroying data, and carries out other destructive or damaging actions without the user’s knowledge.
A virus is designed to spread from one computer to another. It operates by attaching or inserting itself into a legitimate document or program that supports macros to execute its code.
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Slow start up and performance
If your computer is taking too long to start or your programs are taking longer than usual to open, then your PC or laptop may be infected with a virus. Less hard disk space or RAM can also cause your computer’s sluggish performance, but if they are normal, then the only reason can be a computer virus.
Error messages and crashes
If you see odd error messages, programs start opening and closing automatically, or your system shuts down or freezes for no reason, your computer may be infected by a virus.
Low hard disk space
If the storage space on your hard drive suddenly looks full (due to suspicious or hidden files), then a virus may be trying to make your computer unusable.
If your web browser has suddenly become sluggish, you are being redirected to unusual websites, or your home page is changing, then you might have a computer virus infection.
Unexpected pop-up windows
Unexpected pop-ups or onscreen ads are a sign of a computer virus. Not only are pop-ups annoying, but there might also be other malware lurking inside poised to wreak further havoc.
Do not click on a suspicious pop-up even if the virus says ‘a virus was detected’ as it is an example of rogueware. By clicking on that, you might be asked to pay for or download a program to remove a fake virus, but in reality, it would just allow more malware to be downloaded on your computer.
Some viruses might delete programs and files, move them around, or encrypt files so you can’t access/open them.
Suspicious hard drive activity
Suppose your hard drive is excessively active to the point where it continually spins or makes continual noise, even when you aren’t using your computer or have any programs running. In that case, it could be a sign that your computer is infected.
Suppose contacts and friends start receiving messages from your social media accounts or emails, asking them to click on a link or attachment. In that case, there might be a virus in your computer that might be trying to spread to other computers through your social accounts. In this case, the best thing to do is to remove the malware using antivirus software and change your passwords.
Inexplicable network activity
If your internet connection is active even when you’re not using it, it might be a virus in your computer, sending information back and forth across the internet.
While this may be rare, some viruses disable your computer’s protection. If your computer is infected with a virus, you might not be able to install or open or an antivirus program or firewall.
Computer Sleuths offers a professional virus removal service for computers, tablets, and mobile phones in Lawrenceville and other cities in the Metro Atlanta area. Click here to schedule a free checkup.