Most users know when their computer is performing poorly but we are not always sure if this problem is being caused by a computer virus. Computer viruses are a type of malware that comprises malicious computer codes designed to damage devices and potentially steal their information. Created to replicate again and again, computer viruses change the way your computer works and compromise its memory, programs, and information files.
A computer can catch a virus in numerous ways, most of which involve exposure to the Internet. Visiting an infected website and downloading free content – such as games, toolbars, and media players – can expose your computer to viruses. Your device can also pick up a virus if you open an infected email and/or email attachments. When you share music, photos, and other content, you are potentially exposing your computer to viruses. Even downloading infected software is also a potential source of viruses.
To know whether your computer has been affected by a virus, ask yourself these important questions:
- Is my computer working slowly?
- Have I lost data for no obvious reason?
- Does my computer sometimes stop functioning for no apparent reason?
- Is my computer crashing repeatedly?
If you answer “yes” to even one of the questions above, chances are good that your computer has been affected by some sort of computer virus and you will want to have it looked at by an experienced IT professional.
Common Types of Computer Viruses
There are thousands of computer viruses that your device can contract from the Internet, however, some are more common than others. That being said, all computer viruses have one thing in common: They need to infect multiple programs in your computer to operate.
- Trojans – These usually appear as seemingly legitimate computer applications that entice users into downloading them. They require a user to download them to operate.
- Worms – These do not require a user to download them. They also spread and reproduce among your devices.
- Ransomware – This type of malware, which can be spread via other computer viruses, encrypts your computer’s files and demands a ransom for the information’s return.
What can a computer virus do?
Once your computer is infected with a virus, it reacts in several ways, depending on what the virus is designed to do. Here are just a few examples:
- Boot Sectors – These place their code in the boot sector of your computer’s system disk, the code will eventually stop the computer from functioning.
- File Infectors – Slows your computer’s functioning and damages its file systems.
- Over writers – These viruses write over your computer’s content, rendering it useless.
- Browser Hackers – These infect computer browsers and redirect users to malicious websites where their computers often crash.
- Web Scripters – These are placed in the codes of links, advertisements, and images so that when users click on them, their devices become unusable and information is compromised.
Preventing Computer Viruses
Having antivirus software on your computer is an important tool that keeps your computer safe in several ways. The software:
- identifies viruses before your computer catches them,
- prevents the spread of viruses if your computer is infected,
- can often remove viruses.
Getting Rid of Computer Viruses
Sometimes you may need a knowledgeable IT professional to assist you with removing your computer virus. The IT technicians at Geeks on Site are standing by to help. Our technicians use state-of-the-art tools to identify and remove your computer virus. With a long history of offering IT support services, Geeks on Site techs will explain what they have found and answer all of your questions. Call Geeks on Site today for the professional expertise you need when dealing with computer viruses.