June 4, 2012

Signs Your Computer has a Virus

Computer users always act surprised when they find a computer virus or malicious software on their computer. Computer viruses rarely come out of the blue and usually there are signs and symptoms that there is a computer virus present on the computer.


If you know the signs and symptoms of a computer virus you can work to remove it before it causes permanent damage. Here’s a look at the common symptoms of a computer virus.


Changed Desktops 

Malware logo Crystal 128. 

Image via Wikipedia


If your computer desktop changes without you having made the changes it is a sure sign there is virus on your computer. Changes to desktops can range from new programs being added, deleted programs or even having icons moved around.


Computer Speed


Computer viruses often effect the speed of your computer. If you notice it is taking unusually long to upload documents, turn the computer on or off, or do normal computer functions it could be a sign there is a computer virus.


System Errors or Blue Screen


Computer viruses can cause an extreme amount of system errors to occur. If you notice you have a lot of system errors happening when you are using your computer or you experience the blue screen of doom these might be caused by a virus on your computer.


By knowing and educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of a computer virus you can avoid the shock and surprise that comes with finding a computer virus on your computer. Conducting regular virus scans can also reduce your surprise and shock from receiving a computer virus because it is caught early.

What is Spyware?

Example of firewall function: Blocking spyware...
Image via Wikipedia

Spyware can be a huge problem these days. Spyware is physically capable of infecting nearly all computers, and so this means that you are at risk regardless of what type of computer you are using or what you are doing on the internet. Users can get spyware unintentionally just by visiting websites linked from search engines that are designed to infect users. Unfortunately there are many different ways that you can unintentionally infect your computer with spyware and other types of malicious software like adware and viruses.

A common tactic that websites use in order to infect your computer with spyware is to tell you that you have won something and that you only need to “click here” to accept. Another such idea might be to create a website dialog that looks like it is coming from your computer, but it will actually be coming from the infecting website, tricking you into launching something harmful for your computer without realizing it. Many websites will even launch pop ups that look like they are scanning your PC for spyware for absolutely free. They tell you that they have found an infection, and if you download their software you can remove the virus or infection, only you end up installing spyware or other malicious software instead.

Aside from obtaining reputable spyware software in order to clean your personal computer up after an infection, one of the best things you can do is simply to make sure that your computer is fully up to date with the latest service packs and hot fixes from the manufacturer of your operating system. Additionally, using third party browsers such as Google’s Chrome or Sea Monkey and Firefox from Mozilla can help keep you and your website more adequately protected from internet predators and their spyware, adware, viruses and other malicious software.

DIY Techniques to Improve Computer Speed

Opened hard drive with top magnet removed, sho...
Image via Wikipedia

If your computer seems to operate slowly compared to when you first purchased it, then you should explore a few common factors that often prevent PCs from working efficiently. Chances are that you will be able to solve the problem on your own and boost your computer’s performance.

Malware is one of the most common reasons for a slow PC. Viruses, worms, spyware, and adware take up CPU space and eat up bandwidth, resulting in a slow computer that stalls frequently and takes forever to perform simple tasks. Luckily, this problem is easy to fix by installing reliable antivirus software. There are lots of free and subscription options available. Read a few reviews to help you decide which one will work best for you.

Your slow computer could also be caused by a cluttered registry. It’s dangerous to delete files from your registry unless you have some experience with computer programming. Instead of trying to clean up the registry on your own, use software that has been designed to identify unnecessary files. This will help you eliminate the clutter without damaging important system files.

It is also possible that your computer has slowed down because it does not have much free memory available. As a general rule, more free memory equals a faster computer. If your computer’s hard drive is full of files and software that you rarely use, then you can solve this problem by deleting them. Be sure to uninstall unwanted software instead of just dragging the icon into the recycle bin. You can also choose to purchase additional RAM or an external hard drive. External hard drives are useful because they allow you to keep files without actually storing them on your computer. You’ll have easy access to them in the future, but they won’t slow down your PC.