What is a computer virus?
A computer virus is a small program that installs itself on your computer and spreads to other computers. A typical virus will interfere with your normal computer operations, making your computer sluggish. A virus can delete data on your computer, corrupt system program files, or use your email program to spread itself to others.
How do you get a virus on my computer?
The most common way to get infected with a computer virus is from an e-mail attachment. Computer viruses can be hidden in a file, video, audio file or graphic. Check your email attachments before you open them. If you suspect the file is not what it seems, do not open it. All it takes is opening a rogue file and the virus can be installed onto your computer.
What are some symptoms of an infected email?
Most times you will receive an email that will appear to come from a friend or family member, but the content of the email does not sound like what you would normally receive from them. Other times, the email will just contain a link to another site. Before clicking on a link, put your mouse over the link to make sure that you are going to the correct location. Once you put your mouse over the link, you should receive a pop-up with the actual link location.
What are some symptoms of a computer virus and spyware?
- Your computer runs slower than normal
- Your computer stops responding
- Your computer does not finish booting
- Your computer restarts randomly (not just during the Windows Auto Update)
- You see unusual messages
- Your find extra icons on your desktop, or all of your icons disappear
- Your Anti-Virus program is disabled
- You cannot install or run an Anti-Virus program
- Your computer plays sounds randomly
- Your Internet connection slows down
- Your web browser home page changes
- You cannot connect to the Internet
- All of your Internet searches are re-directed to another site
What can I do to protect myself?
It is important to turn-on your firewall (built into Windows), keep Windows patches up-to-date, have an Anti-Virus program installed and up-to-date. In addition to keeping Windows up-to-date, keep your Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java updated.