How can I tell if I have a virus? If you’re asking, you probably have a reason to ask. Your computer is acting funny. Something is wrong with the Internet or you are having problems getting to certain websites. But it isn’t always easy to tell if you have a virus. A well-written computer virus, a virus that is designed to conceal itself on your computer until it is activated, is difficult to detect. These viruses do not impact your computer’s performance, they do not show pop-ups. But they are there, either recording your keystrokes or waiting to be activated by the virus writer.
Symptoms Of A Computer Virus
First, the obvious symptoms of a computer virus. If you’re computer is behaving in the following manner, you probably already know you have a computer virus:
- You are receiving pop-ups saying your computer is infected, click here to remove the virus–such as the one below.
- You can’t update the security of your computer or your Windows updates fail.
- When you launch your web browser, your home page redirects to another site.
- You computer is running really slow.
The above are symptoms of either poorly-written viruses, or in the case of the pop-ups and redirects, viruses that are trying to get you to react to their presence. Most viruses will attempt to stop your computer from updating its virus definitions or prevent you from downloading Microsoft Updates. The viruses got onto your system because of an exploit. Since patches fix exploits, they want to stop you from updating. So if you are experiencing any of these issues, you already know you have a virus and need free computer virus protection.
Detecting Viruses That Hide
Viruses that hide themselves can often be picked up by virus scans. Update your anti-virus software and run a full scan weekly. Even if your scan comes up clean, you could still be infected by a rootkit virus. A rootkit can get onto your computer after your computer is compromised by another virus. The rootkit, however, is able to conceal itself from anti-virus programs, and essentially become a permanent gateway for other viruses to get onto your computer. Rootkits can be detected, but are difficult–if not impossible–to remove. At this point, you’ll need to reformat your hard drive and start over. You can use a program like RootKit Revealer to detect the presence of a rootkit virus.
Programs We Recommend For Free Computer Virus Protection
Microsoft Security Essentials – A free antivirus provided by Microsoft.
Malwarebytes –A malware remover, to detect and remove spyware and viruses.
ESet Online Virus Scanner –A great second-opinion for detecting and removing viruses
Rootkit Revealer –Read the paragraph above.