Diagnose Your PC: Common Computer Virus Symptoms

computer virusComputer viruses come in many shapes and sizes, but most of them share very similar symptoms. When you keep strong, up-to-date antivirus and antimalware programs on your computer, they usually warn you when a virus is infecting your computer and can help you get rid of it. These programs are great and you shouldn’t be without them, but some viruses do manage to sneak past undetected and start causing trouble. If your computer has been acting a little funny, a virus may be the culprit. Some of the issues your computer may be displaying are:

Computer Running Slowly. There are many reasons that a computer can run slowly, but one of these is a computer virus. If your computer has been running at normal speeds and then experiences a sudden slow down, you should definitely look into the cause. Try cleaning up your unused files and defragmenting your disk, as these can be harmless reasons for reduced speed. If that doesn’t help, use your antivirus and antimalware programs to scan for harmful software.

Unexpected Messages. You should always keep a close eye on your email and social media, because a virus can access these and start passing itself to other people in the form of messages. If you start seeing replies to messages you didn’t send, a virus is the likely cause. Check the sent folder of your accounts to monitor the activity there. Change your passwords immediately if you encounter this problem, and use your security programs to scan for a virus. It is also necessary for you to notify your contacts of the problem, so they don’t click on a message that you didn’t send and end up with a computer virus too.

Popup Ads. These advertisements are usually found on the internet as you are browsing and generally don’t mean anything. Simply avoid clicking them and you won’t have problems. But if you are getting popup ads when you aren’t on the internet, your computer has a problem. Often these ads are scare-ware that tell you a dangerous threat has been detected on your computer. Once again, run your security scans to find the problem area. If antivirus isn’t doing the trick, find an antispyware program.

Programs Starting Without Permission. Viruses can wreak havoc with the files and programs in your computer, and sometimes cause them to run unprompted. Programs that aren’t part of your start up process shouldn’t be running if you don’t click on them. When this happens to you it is important to run a virus scan immediately. This will help you determine where the problem is and root it out.

Everything Runs Normally. When you don’t see any issues on your computer and it is behaving normally, you may be lulled into a false sense of security. That isn’t to say that things shouldn’t run properly on your computer, but when they do it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is virus free. Keep antivirus and antimalware programs on your computer and updated regularly to protect your data. You can find plenty of free options out there that will do the trick, so there is no excuse.

If your computer is behaving strangely and your security programs aren’t helping, contact us today. We have the knowledge and expertise to find your problems and fix them before they get any worse.

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