Computer Virus – What is it, How Did I Get One, and What Now?
You have a computer virus now what. The majority of computers now come with an antivirus protecting us against this thing called a computer virus. While most of us feel a little safer knowing we have one running in the background stopping these little annoyances, not a lot of us really understand what a computer virus really is, or what to do if we have one.
What is a computer virus?
We will start with the basics. A computer virus is a small software program whose sole purpose is to interfere with the regular operations of your computer. Much like installing loads of software, an accumulation of viruses eventually eats away at the performance of your computer making even simple operations take what can seem like forever.
The minor to major annoyances of a common computer virus can range from deleting files that are on your computer, corrupting your entire hard drive causing a computer crash, even accessing your email software or account to spread to other users.
How do I know if I have a computer virus?
If you have not installed many programs lately and you get that little thought bubble floating around thinking “This darn computer is running slower every day”, a simple computer virus could very well be keeping that thought bubble alive and for a long time if you do not have any type of antivirus software protection playing the role of a bodyguard for your computer.
The easiest way to find out if your computer is infected is by running a simple virus scan. Most computers now come with antivirus software built in but if you do not have one, there are free solutions out there that can run a full scan of your computer and give you a quick idea. One of the better free antivirus software out there is by developer “AVG”. You can download it for free through their website, run a scan of your computer, and within a few minutes clear your mind or confirm the reason why that thought bubble is not going away.
What do I do if I caught a computer virus?
The first thing to do is to breathe in and relax. Comfort yourself in knowing that most computers with an internet connection have at some point, even a few times a day, been attacked by a virus threat trying to install itself on their computer.
If you have caught a computer virus and detected it using antivirus software, most likely your software will have a “Repair” type of function that will simply get rid of threats in a single click. If you do not have antivirus software, though I would recommend looking into some of the high quality protection software available that usually comes at a cost, using the free antivirus software mentioned above will usually be sufficient to get rid of your basic virus.
Where could I have caught a computer virus?
The most common places users catch computer viruses are through email attachments or images, instant messaging attachments, downloaded files from the internet coming from an unreliable source or website, and torrent downloads. You can not really hide from them but you can protect yourself.
How do I protect myself against computer viruses?
Unless you intend to completely disconnect yourself from the internet for the rest of your life, the easiest way to protect yourself is by using antivirus software. Finding the right antivirus software is a topic on its own as there are so many developers offering different products which range in protection from virus protection only, to additional protection against identity theft, spam, and so many more which really depends on your personal protection needs.
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