If you have never had a problem with a virus on your computer then you are one of the lucky few. Almost anyone who owns a PC will have experienced some form of virus-related problem. It is not always obvious that the problems are caused by a virus so we have come up with a checklist for you to run through to check if you have any virus or viruses on your PC.
1. Your computer is running slowly
If your computer is running very slowly you should firstly read our post on actions to speed up your PC. If things do not improve significantly then you may have a virus on your computer
2. Unexpected errors or popup messages
Are some of your programs quitting unexpectedly or throwing up unexplained error messages? Maybe your computer itself is shutting down for no apparent reason?
3. Is your hard drive being overworked?
The familiar whirring sound of your hard drive is perfectly normal when your computer is running more labor-intensive tasks or programs. If however, this whirring sound is evident more than usual, then you may have a problem. Many email viruses cause your PC to work intensively as they send out multiple emails, putting pressure on your computer’s hard drive.
If you are experiencing any of the above, or indeed you suspect a virus for any other reason, you should take the following steps:
1. Run the Free Microsoft Malicious Software (often called ‘Malware’) Removal Tool. This is not a catchall but it is a good starting point for identifying and removing viruses and other threats.
2. Install a good antivirus tool. There are many anti-virus tools to choose from but it is essential that you choose one with updates against the latest threats (this should be listed in the product features). One such program is Anti-Virus Plus from ParetoLogic. You can run a free scan before committing to buying anything and there is a 60-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind (always a good feature!). Click here to download and run a free scan.
Remember – if in doubt – scan!