How can I know if my computer got a virus?
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. Some computer viruses alert you to their presence by putting an unexpected message on your screen.
Here are a few primary indicators that your computer might be infected:
- A sudden decline in PC or network performance. Your computer runs more slowly than normal.
- Applications on your computer don’t work correctly. Programs taking longer to start or running more slowly than usual.
- Unexplained decreases in the amount of available memory or system resources
- A sudden reduction in disk space or loss of files or data.
- Computer stops responding or locks up often
- Computer crashes and restarts every few minutes
- Computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
- Disks or disk drives are inaccessible
- You can’t print correctly
- You see unusual error messages
- You see distorted menus and dialog boxes
- Playing a tune or displaying a message
- Loss of partitions (organization of disc space)
- Unauthorized release of files, usually via e-mail
- Disk accesses seem excessive for simple tasks
- Access lights turn on for non referenced devices
- Programs or files mysteriously disappear
- Executable files change size and unexplained hidden files appear
All of these symptoms are common signs that your computer has a virus, although they could also be caused by hardware or software problems that have nothing to do with a virus.