All computers and laptops should have some form of security on them - yes, these days even Macs are prone to attacks and some smart phones could really do with protection. However, any anti-virus is only as good as its end user.
The worst security risk to your computer is yourself - if you don't take the advice suggested by your anti-virus, such as “this link could be unsafe – are you sure you want to open it?” you can simply bypass it and allow the nasties in.
So how do you know if you've inadvertently let a virus in?
Top 10 signs your computer has a virus.
1.“The Big Freeze.” Does your computer freeze, lock up, or just stop responding? Infuriating as this is, it’s not a sign that your computer is in a strop with you personally but is a sign it needs looking at
2.“In Your Own Time.” Is your computer or laptop running slower than usual? A virus is by no means the only reason things may be slowing up, but it is worth checking. Run a virus scan if you can to double check.
3.“Open Sesame!” Are you getting programs starting automatically, even if you’re sure you haven’t asked your computer to open them?
4.“Stop Start” If your computer is regularly crashing and/or restarting of its own free will, there is something amiss that needs looking at pretty quickly.
5.“No Access” Are there applications that are inaccessible? Disabling certain areas on your computer is a way of a virus covering its tracks and ensuring you can’t get rid of it easily.
6.“Unwanted Surprises” If you’re getting frequent “pop ups”, or usual error messages, this is a fairly good indicator that you have unwelcome visitors on your systems.
7.“I’m Not Talking To You!” If your computer and your printer or scanner are no longer on talking terms, it could be more than just a misunderstanding.
8.“Unwanted Additions!” Depending on the type of virus that you have inadvertently installed, it could add its own toolbars or icons to help it access your data.
9.“We’ve Got All Day.” When you go to start up your computer or laptop, is it taking forever? Again, this may be due to other things, but you don’t have all day, nor should you put up with it.
10.“Jump Around!” You went to the right web page, and now your computer has decided you should be somewhere else and has taken you there of its own free will – possibly somewhere you really don’t want to be...
There may be reasons other than viruses why your computer isn't running quite as it should, but if you have any suspicions you should get it checked out. After all, having a virus make your computing life a misery is one thing - but spreading it on could land you in even more trouble!
As well as providing our customers with PC health checks, we post regular security updates over on Twitter, and if you have any worries or concerns then please feel free to get in touch. In the meantime we wish you, as always, continued happy and safe computing.
10 Signs I Have A Computer Virus:
- Your computer freezes, locks up, or stop responding
- Your computer or laptop is running slower than usual
- Unasked for programs opening by themselves
- Your computer is regularly crashing and/or restarting
- Applications are no longer accessible
- Frequent pop ups or usual error messages
- Your computer, your printer or scanner no longer communicate
- Additions of unwanted toolbars or icons
- Your computer takes forever to start up
- Your computer takes you to unwanted places