Top 10 Symptoms of a Computer Virus

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You don’t need to be a technology expert to know the word virus is bad. A virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without a user’s permission or knowledge.

So, how do you know if your computer has a virus?

Shannon McCarty Caplan, Consumer Security Advocate at Trend Micro has put together a list of the top 10 symptoms of a computer virus to help you diagnose the problem.

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Top 10 Symptoms of a Computer Virus

  1. 1. Top 10 Symptoms of a Computer Virus 8/13/20131 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. You don’t need to be a technology expert to know the word “virus” is bad. A virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without a user’s permission or knowledge. So, how do you know if your computer has a virus? Shannon McCarty Caplan, Consumer Security Advocate at Trend Micro, has put together a list of the top 10 symptoms of a computer virus to help you diagnose the problem. Start
  2. 2. 1. Your Desktop Looks Different Sometimes the signs of a virus are obvious. Have the icons on your desktop been moved around or renamed? Are there icons for programs that you didn’t install? Pay attention to any changes made on your desktop that you didn’t authorize, as they could be the result of a virus. 28/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  3. 3. 2. Your Homepage Changed Your homepage is the Internet page that opens up automatically whenever you start your browser (such as Google or Yahoo). If you are noticing that your web browser is displaying a different page, especially if it is one you’ve never heard of, this is a red flag. Before doing anything else, check to be sure you (or anyone else who may have used your computer) didn’t accidently change your browser settings. 38/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  4. 4. 3. Everything is Sloooooooooow Is every action on your computer painfully slow? If you notice that starting your computer is taking a long time, programs are taking longer than usual to load, and the internet is moving like a snail, your computer might have a virus. 48/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  5. 5. 4. Programs or Files Appear or Disappear Without Your Knowledge You’re not crazy! You may have in fact saved that file in the right place. However, computer viruses have the power to erase files and make new ones appear without your knowledge. This is why backing up your files is so important. If you notice this is happening on your computer, you may have a virus. 58/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  6. 6. 5. The Browser May Not Respond, Close Unexpectedly, or Randomly Redirect Is your browser acting strange? If your browser starts to freeze or close unexpectedly, this could be a sign of a virus. You may also notice that every few minutes you are suddenly sent to a page you didn’t tell your computer to visit. 68/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  7. 7. 6. Pop ups, Pop ups, and More Pop ups An increase in pop ups is generally the most well known symptom of a virus, probably because it is the most annoying. Getting some pop up windows as you browse the Internet is somewhat normal. However, if you are seeing them constantly and they all seem to be for the same websites, then you might have a virus. 78/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  8. 8. 7. Bizarre Error Messages Most people know what a typical error message looks like on their computer and browser. If you start to notice pop-up windows with strange error messages and/or sounds, this is a symptom of a computer virus. 88/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  9. 9. 8. Fake Virus Scans If anything else besides the antivirus software on your computer warns you that you have a virus, be very cautious. Oftentimes websites will use authentic-looking fake virus scans of your computer to make it appear that you are infected with hundreds of bugs. Ignore these scans and perform one of your own to see if you are infected with a real virus. 98/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  10. 10. 9. Unexpected Freezing We’ve all been there: You’re working on a document and then suddenly—nothing. Your computer becomes unresponsive and you mouse is frozen in place. This could be your computer exhibiting symptoms of a virus. 108/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  11. 11. 10. Your Contacts Receive Emails From Your Account That You Didn’t Send It’s not enough to infect your computer; the viruses want to spread the love to your friends as well. Hopefully your contacts will catch these fake emails and give you a heads up that your email is sending links to a virus. 118/13/2013 Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc. Next
  12. 12. So, what do you do once you have a virus? If you do get infected, Trend Micro offers free tools to clean up your computer and get you back to normal. Viruses can crash your system, destroy data, and reveal your confidential information. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and have powerful antivirus software installed so you can be worry free. 8/13/2013 12Confidential | Copyright 2012 Trend Micro Inc.

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