Do I Have a Virus?!

All computer viruses are different. In fact, they’re a lot like a human viral conditions, which can sometimes make them hard to detect and even harder to treat.

Let’s put it like this. When you discover that you have a cough, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a cold. It could be anything –from allergies to the flu. There is no one cure to an illness. Different cause, different treatment. The same goes for your computer. Just because it may be showing symptoms of a virus, it doesn’t mean it is infected with one nor does it mean one solution will fix them all.

Common Signs and Symptoms

1. Slow Performance

Although there could be many causes for your computer’s sluggish performance, a virus can be the main one. Viruses and spyware aim to steal parts of your computer power to engage in malicious cyber-activities online.        

2. Pop-up Windows and Ransomware

Running into pop-up ads while surfing the Web can be quite the pain. It could just be a badly-configured browser. However, if you don’t even have a browser open and pop-ups are still surfacing, it’s usually some form of malware. Some key indications of a virus-related pop-up are (1) the ads that warn you of a viral detection and (2) if the ad solicits money to remove the virus – this is known as ransomware.

3. Missing Files

A virus may cause specific files or folders to completely disappear from your computer –or can prevent them from opening. Viruses can also alter the appearance and size of a file.

4. Changed Settings

If your settings are different, and you didn’t change them, it’s highly-likely that your computer may be infected. Look out for the rearrangement of icons or your homepage.

5. Antivirus Software Not Working

If the antivirus program is deactivated or if you are unable to install or update the program, this is a major sign that your computer has a viral infection. Many viruses can also prevent your Internet browser from accessing your antivirus software’s website.

The Cure

Antivirus Program

We recommend that you always have an antivirus software running on your computer. This is the best way to detect a virus. Many websites have ads and banners that claim your PC is infected. However, most of these are not to be trusted. Only trust your installed antivirus software to detect and notify you of a virus on your system.

Reboot in Safe Mode

If you can't access your antivirus software or you keep seeing the same malware pop-ups, you may need to start your computer in Safe Mode.  Many viruses will store files in folders on your computer –spreading infection even further throughout your PC. Starting your computer in Safe mode allows you to fix most of the problems, removing any virus that may be causing a threat to your operating system.

Still Not Working?

If you’ve tried these steps and your computer is still showing signs of infection, explore your options with Centre Technologies. Whether you need an update or a replacement, we’ve got you covered.  Let us bring your computers back to health with best-of-breed technology. Contact us today for help from our certified consultants.

Originally published on November 2, 2015

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Centre Technologies Centre Technologies

Centre Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and managed services provider headquartered in Texas, with a focus on mid-sized businesses. As a trusted IT partner for well over a decade, Centre is recognized for its local experience and enterprise-grade cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Centre is committed to helping organizations harness the power of technology to maximize their operational efficiency and exceed their business goals. Learn more about Centre Technologies »

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