5 Signs Your Computer Has a Virus
Know How to Spot a Computer Virus
Have you stopped to contemplate what a computer actually is? It is a series of metal, plastic, glass, and silicon, which forms a physical object. On their own, they’re rather worthless. But when they all work together, they create a whole new world. A virtual world which if computers vanished, it too would vanish.
Computer viruses, in that sense, aren’t actually real. They have no physical properties, and the worst they can do is instruct the computer to work against itself. A virtual construct that can cause real world physical damage.
Enough with the philosophy on what is, and is not, real. Here is our list on what signs to pay attention to and see if your computer is suffering from a virus (or at least some malware).
Not Enough Memory
It plagues our iPhones all the time. You go to take a picture, and you’re out of memory space! But that shouldn’t be the case on computer. Unless something is creating files, or downloading files, and using up all of your memory (we’re talking about hard drive space here, not RAM which is a different type of memory). If your hard drive has filled up mysteriously, it could be that you’re downloading too many movies; but more likely there’s malware working behind the scenes.
A dozen years ago or so this was a bigger problem. In the days of rampant music and video downloading (back before streaming was a thing), viruses would be hidden in some of these files. When you opened a browser, suddenly dozens of pop-ups would flood your computer; sometimes the only course of action was to manually shut it all down. Less common today, but still an issue, if you get pop-ups you may have a virus. These usually come in a series and you can’t close them fast enough.
Programs are So Slow
That RAM we mentioned is Random Access Memory. In terms of your brain, it’s the short-term stuff you have to remember for a bit and then forget. Like directions on getting to the store, or that your hair cut appointment is at 4pm. A sign of malware or a virus is when programs are running behind the scenes, and using up your RAM. You try to open a legitimate program, and it lags and loads much slower than normal. A quick view of your task manager can tell you what programs are running; sometimes it’s auto-play ads in Chrome or Firefox that are slowing everything down.
It Just Shuts Off!
A computer crash sounds a whole lot more dramatic than it really is. In reality, the crash is either it freezes up, or shuts off (usually it freezes). The problem is that when the computer shuts down mid-operation, it can cause files to be lost or even physical damage to the hard drive. Generally these crashes happen because programs are running in the background and the computer is overwhelmed (see Programs are Slow, Ads Everywhere!, and Not Enough Memory).
I Didn’t Click That!
When we use our computers, we expect a click in the right place will open or close a program. But what happens when a program starts without you selecting it? What happens when it closes without you X-ing out of it? That’s most likely because another program that you didn’t authorize is doing it for you. One of the common issues is that certain malware run and block anti-malware programs from running. You open Malwarebytes, and the bad software shuts it down before it can load. There are ways around this, so bring it on in and let the experts take a look.
iDoctor Removes Viruses on Computers in Billings
There are actually very few true computer viruses out there. When they pop up, they do a lot of damage. A virus is actually a malicious program designed to erase data, or hold it hostage until you pay the virus creator. That’s actually good news! Malware, spyware, and Trojans are much more common. Many people simply call them viruses. They’re not nearly as complex as viruses, and they can be overridden relatively quickly.
If you have a virus, malware, spyware, ransomware, Trojans, or your computer just isn’t working the way it should, then come see us! We have two locations in Billings to help get your technology running the way it should.