How to Know My Computer Has a Virus

Computer viruses are meant to damage, steal, or destroy your computer. They’re often the product of greed. Shady companies or people will attempt to create viruses that extract personal information from your computer so that they can exploit that information for financial gain. This is a scary prospect for most people. Other viruses are the product of computer users that love to create havoc for their fellow web surfers. These viruses are annoying but no one is actually trying to steal your personal information or money. Whatever the motivation of the virus creator, it’s necessary to be on high alert for viruses at all times. They’re always something that needs to be removed from your computer immediately.

There are literally millions of virus variations, all of which can damage your computer. There are some very overt viruses that will never make themselves scarce. You’ll see very visible signs that they’re at work plaguing your computer. Be alert to these signs:

- Pop-ups that pop up even when you’re not visiting a Web site: Many Web sites produce pop-ups that don’t contain viruses. However, if you’ve shut every window and you’re still receiving pop-ups, there might be a software program that’s causing these pop-ups to appear. Never click on a pop-up ad that appears when you haven’t visited a Web site. Also be alert to multiple pop-ups. They’re either a sign of an existing virus or a sign that you should leave the Web site producing them. If someone resorts to using 8 pop-ups, they might resort to installing viruses on your computer.

- Slow connection: If you have cable or DSL Internet, your connection speed is fast enough to load pages in less than a second most of the time. Barring any trouble with the ISP, slow connection speed is a sign of a virus in some cases. When you have this for several days, perform a virus scan to make sure everything is okay with your system.

- Strange happenings: Malicious software can cause all types of havoc on your computer. It might make your cursor disappear, make you computer monitor blink, or close your programs or make them freeze. When you notice that your computer is behaving as if it’s haunted, it might be haunted by a virus. Do a scan immediately before any permanent damage can be done.

- Downloads you haven’t authorized: If you get a pop-up warning window that demands you download a software you’ve never heard of, you might want to look up the command to see if it’s associated with a computer virus. This pesky tactic fools even seasoned Internet users. There are some programs that even act like anti-virus software, scanning your computer automatically and lying to you about the results. You’ll be informed that your computer is overrun with viruses and you need to download their software to rid yourself of them. Never do this. If you haven’t asked for anti-virus software, don’t accept help from someone that tries to give it to you through a pop-up or command box.

Computer viruses are the plague of the Internet and most users do everything in their power to avoid them. By being alert to the above signs, you reduce your chances of acquiring damage to your computer and increase your chances of having a fully functional computer with no performance problems. If you continue to be diligent, follow those tips and perform regular virus scans, you’ll find that the above things never happen to your computer in the first place.

You can never be too careful when monitoring your computer for viruses. If you suspect that a virus may be causing some odd computer behavior, perform a scan immediately. It can’t hurt; in many instances, it will save your computer from suffering permanent damage or even complete destruction. It can also protect you from greedy businesses that seek to steal your information and use it for financial gain, sometimes at your expense.