There are times when your computer starts running poorly or doing strange things for no apparent reason. These problems can often be caused by your computer being infected by one of the many viruses out there. If you’re worried about your computer read through our list and check out our advice for identifying warning signs and removing the cause of the problem.
1) Sluggish performance
If your computer becomes slow, it is possible there are one or more viruses infecting your system. Viruses absorb processing power meaning your computer has less power to perform the tasks you ask of it. Spyware viruses are quite common and unwanted programs run invisibly in the background, monitoring your computer activity.
2) System start up
If your computer takes a long time to start up, there may be an issue with unwanted programs loading in the background. These programs are called malware. To check the programs that run on start up open the start menu, navigating to Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Run, type in “Msconfig”.
It is best to let an antivirus program uninstall malware programs, after which you should see your system start up sequence shorten.
3) Tool bars in your web browser have appeared
Often these are covers for spyware, with the job of monitoring your web browsing habits. To be sure there is nothing more malicious going on, run an antivirus program.
4) Pop up warnings
Ignore any pop ups that say something like “…infected, click here to fix”. This could be a trick to encourage you to run a malicious program on your system. These programs could by anything from spyware, to more serious viruses designed to steal personal data.
5) Your browser’s home page has changed
Your browser has been compromised and it is likely that malware is operating in the background, monitoring your activity or stealing personal data. Close your browser and do not open it again until you have run an anti-virus.
6) You can’t open ‘Task Manager’
Viruses can prevent you from disabling the program by manipulating registry keys to prevent the task manager from functioning. Remove the virus using an anti-virus and then run ‘system restore’ to return the system to normal.
7) Folder options have disappeared
If a virus has infected your computer, its files will lurk somewhere on your hard disk. It is common for viruses to reside in a hidden folder and can disable the folder options application to prevent you from spotting the folder.
8) Windows’ Registry Editor has disappeared
Many viruses will prevent you from editing the system registry as an act of self-preservation. Remove the virus using an anti-virus and then run system restore to restore the system to normal.
9) Your CPU is running at 100%
Modern CPUs rarely run at 100% capacity for long. If you can’t access the task manager you have a virus (see above), but if you can see the CPU running at 100% for sustained periods you probably have a virus.
10) You have downloaded a file from an untrusted website
If you accidentally download a file from the internet, it may be too late as the program could have already auto-executed on your system, installing some form of malware or virus.
There are other problems that can affect your computer, and the best advice is to run an antivirus thorough the system to check for any malware and/or viruses. If this doesn’t resolve the problem then it may be a good idea to take it into a specialist shop to have them check for problems and hopefully fix them.
Have you faced any other virus infected signs that affected your computer ?
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