One of the most troubling experiences while working on a computer, is being under the attack of a virus. Computer viruses come in a range of varieties and are difficult to detect. A computer virus is a software interrupts the computer’s function or damages it completely.
These are malicious software created with the sole intention of halting and damaging the gadget. The virus can steal confidential information, delete or corrupt the files, making it unusable. New viruses are created every day and can enter our computer systems via any website.
The viruses are created by hackers and scammers who trick unassuming individuals into clicking some option or button. This way the virus enters your computer without you even knowing about it. The scammers mask their threat so well that the website looks normal and genuine.
Once affected by the virus the computer works erratically, and important data may get destroyed permanently. However, just as humans show signs and symptoms when affected by an infection, the computer also shows similar signs.
Certain signs have been enlisted to know if your computer is affected by a virus and the necessary steps to be taken to save your device.
Sudden Pop-Up Windows
A typical sign of virus intrusion is the unexpected display of on-screen ads. They are mostly annoying and may have a malware lurking inside the computer system to wreak havoc. Do not ever click on a suspicious pop up even if it indicates ‘a virus is detected’ message.
This is like a trap and could be an instance of rogueware. Such a virus will ask you to pay for a program to terminate a fake virus but actually will be allowing more malicious software to be downloaded.
Dubious Hard drive activity
The hard drive seems to be overly active. One can hear continual sound and spinning of the disk even though you are neither working on the computer nor any programs are running on it. This could definitely be a sign of a computer virus.
Some of the viruses notoriously delete files and programs or move them away haphazardly to different locations. Some will even encrypt your files so that you won’t be able to open them.
Slow startup and low performance
Sometimes the computer may take more time to start due to the presence of various kinds of applications and other software on the hard disk or startup menu. But if it is taking too long than the normal time and the programs are taking forever to open, then it could be due to the presence of a virus on your computer.
Crashes and Error messages
On some occasions the programs open and close automatically, the system freezes or shuts down suddenly or may display strange error messages. All this could be caused due to the presence of a virus.
If you spot any of these symptoms while working on your PC, laptop or notebook, run an antivirus program on your computer to remove the virus. Set the program to run automatically for scanning the system at regular intervals and updating itself to prevent any future threats. Also, make sure that your computer firewall is activated to block the malware attacks via the internet.
Additionally, you don’t need to be a computer expert to safeguard your system from the viruses and other kinds of malicious software.
All you need to do is follow some steps in order to fine-tune your computer to keep it working smoothly.
Install an antivirus software
As soon as you buy a computer, the first thing you should do is to install an antivirus software. In fact, nowadays every computer comes with a free antivirus already installed in it, but it is always good to double check.
There are many free and trusted antivirus software available online which are effective and installing them just takes a few minutes. You may even upgrade to the paid versions of this software.
Update applications and programs
Update the programs and application on the computer regularly. You may also get reminders about updating regularly. But, always ensure that it is done. Do not consider it as a waste of time or put it off for later as it only takes a few minutes for updating. Sometimes you may have to restart your computer to activate the program.
If you spend most of your time online, the possibilities are that you may have downloaded numerous files and programs and eventually forgotten about them. But when it comes to computers, the files are stored in the ‘downloads’ folder.
The downloaded files may include documents, photographs, videos, programs and program updates which may be using up a major chunk of your valuable storage space. Keep a check on them and delete the ones which are not needed by you.
Backup your important files
Backing up important files will not make your computer fast but you can keep it at ease by the following methods of storage:-
- Backup your videos, photos and other data files on a CD, DVD or USB drive
- Save the required files on an external hard disk and keep it in a safe place.
- You can even backup your important files on the cloud. Free online storage device like Dropbox gives 2GB of free storage space.
Clean Up, Organize and Update Your Files or Folders
- Every computer having a Windows operating system consists of two of the most important system tools: the disk cleanup and defragment tools. You can get them in the start menu.
- Start with removing the numerous temporary and other files using the disk cleanup. These files were unknowingly lurking in the background and slowing the computer.
- Running the Defragmentation tool after cleaning up your files will put all your files and folders in order again.
Keeping your computer in the best condition is your duty and should not be considered a waste of time or a burden. Spend a few minutes from your busy work schedule for the maintenance of the device. This will not only extend the life of your computer but also save you from expensive repairs.