How to Prevent, Detect & Remove Computer Viruses

 

Is your computer acting strange? Think your computer might be infected with a virus? Ready to throw your computer out the window? Don’t get rid of your computer just yet. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to detect, remove, and prevent your computer from being infected with a virus.  A computer virus can do a great deal of harm to your computer. This malicious software can do everything from erasing your computers hard drive to installing monitoring software, such as a keystroke logger, to record every keystroke typed on your computer. This could ultimately lead you to becoming a victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the USA.  Many viruses even use your computer as a platform to send viruses to other people. For example, a person infected with a virus could be unknowingly sending a virus to everyone they email. Or that cute little joke that you forwarded to all your friends could be infected with a nasty virus.

How do I know if my computer has been infected?

 

After you open and run an infected program or attachment on your computer, you might not realize that you've introduced a virus until you notice something isn't quite right.  Here are a few indicators that your computer might be infected:

  • Your computer runs more slowly than normal

  • Your computer stops responding or freezes often

  • Your computer crashes and restarts every few minutes

  • Your computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally

  • Applications on your computer don't work correctly

  • Disks or disk drives are inaccessible

  • You can't print correctly

  • You see unusual error messages

  • You see distorted menus and dialog boxes

These are common signs of infection—but they might also indicate hardware or software problems that have nothing to do with a virus.

How can I prevent infections by computer viruses?

 

Nothing can guarantee the security of your computer, but there's a lot you can do to help lower the chances that you'll get a virus. It's crucial to keep your antivirus software current with the latest updates (usually called definition files) that help the tool identify and remove the latest threats. You can continue to improve your computer's security and decrease the possibility of infection by using a firewall, keeping your computer up to date and maintaining a current antivirus software subscription.

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