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Signs of a Computer Virus – How Your PC Reacts

Computer viruses are software programs that have been created to interfere with normal computer operation.

Viruses are spread from one computer to the next through the internet or external media cards or flash disks. Just as human viruses evolve, computer viruses change with time from one generation to the next. In computer terms, this generation may be days or weeks. And some symptoms do not necessarily mean an infection.

For example, you might be sneezing but that does not necessarily mean you are coming down with flu. It could be an allergy or just something else. This is the same case with computers, just because your PC is slow does not mean that it has been attacked by a virus. The computer being slow might be caused by a program overload; this means that there are too many programs running all at once thus crashing your computer’s system.

Let’s look at some of a computer’s virus symptoms:

Slow Performance

Just as you know the length of time your computer takes to boot up, you know when certain programs are slow to respond. Overall slow PC performance does not necessarily mean the computer has a virus, but it’s worth a look. Some viruses reproduce and multiply the files in your computer. This could crowd the disk space and even overload the hard disk. Call your local expert PC repair tech company if you find that it takes a long time to view folders and documents on your hard drive.

Continuous Crashing

If your computer seems to continuously crash out of the operating system, and restarts on its own, then you need to look for danger signs. An anti-virus scan could be the first step to take. If the PC restarts every few minutes, then a virus is likely to blame. Computers that crash often can be the victims of a severe virus or malware.

Missing Files

Are you missing any files lately? Or do you notice new files on your main drive that you don’t immediately recognize? This could be bad news. A virus might take away certain operating system files and replace them with rogue virus files, so computer owners don’t immediately notice the difference. Running certain applications may show a message box that tells you that a certain file is missing. That is a red flag to get your PC checked out before more files disappear.

Extra Files

You might note that there are extra files that pop up, especially during startups. When you check your disk, you will note that you have less free disk space and this is a warning your computer is under attack. Microsoft offers certain helpful articles for PC users to check their computer for all programs and files that are supposed to be there at startup. (Make sure you pick the correct Operating System to review.)

How to Prevent Viruses From Attacking Your Computer

Many people feel that their web browsing safety tools are sufficient enough. The virus problem can be mostly avoided by installing a strong firewall and an even stronger antivirus program. However, new viruses emerge monthly, and it makes sense to stay up-to-date to protect your files and programs from dangerous viruses.

Other things you can do are:

  • Make sure you scan external storage devices before opening any documents.
  • Lock your computer when not in use so that nobody else will be able to access it and introduce viruses. Use a commercially sold antivirus program (not a free one off the Internet)
  • Set your antivirus updates to run automatically. This will ensure that new viruses won’t be able to get at your system.
  • Stay up-to-date with code definitions for the latest viruses – very important to keep your system up-to-date.

If your computer is still experiencing problems after your own DIY check, then it’s time to call in the experts at Geeks on Site. They can look into your problem either in a home visit or via remote online repair.