Did you know a virus is created every minute?
Hackers are always trying to find new ways to scam and exploit innocent victims. They come in various fashions such as email, websites, file downloads, and social media.
Here are some signs that you may have a virus
- Computer performance degrades
- If you notice your computers performance degrading over time, you probably have a virus. When a virus takes over your computer, it hogs CPU resources which in turn slows down your computer.
- Startup takes forever
- If you haven’t made any significant changes to your computer and it’s taking forever to start up, it’s probably because your malware is starting up too.
- New toolbars & tray icons
- You can’t access your folder options
- “Your computer is infected, buy this antivirus!” or similar message
- Your browser crashes and/or you get a new homepage
- You can’t access your task manager
- You can’t access your registry editor
- You can run control + alt + delete and see if your CPU usage is running high.
How do I prevent this from happening?
Get a good antivirus protection and keep it updated. Just because you updated it yesterday, doesn’t mean it’s up to date.
A good antivirus software should update itself every few hours. Keep in mind that just because a salesperson at a big box store sells you a hundred dollar program, doesn’t mean it’s going to keep you safe or that it’s even good. The free antivirus programs are just as good as the ones you buy in stores. Do not let a sales person try to fool you into buying their product.
We recommend Avast Antivirus.
Install a quality firewall on your computer. Windows built in firewall is a decent firewall but you can go that extra step and get something such as ZoneAlarm.
Install ant-spyware protection on your machine. This will prevent you from accidentally downloading something from a website or in an email. Spybot Search & Destroy is a good free suite that does this.
Beware of email attachments. If you’re not expecting a file from someone or you do not know the person then do not open any attachments.
Beware of phony websites. Your financial institution, the government, nobody will ever ask for your personal information over a website without you prompting them to. (applying for a credit card online, a job, etc. will ask for your personal information only if YOU initiate the site)
Only click links on Facebook or other social media sites where you’re 100% certain that you know what they are. Just because the title looks interesting or just because your friend posted it, doesn’t mean that it’s legit.