Many computer viruses make themselves well known, even if they're pretending to be something they're not. Whether there's a virus that obviously mocks your unfortunate situation or a fake anti-virus trying to get your credit card information for a fake fix, it's hard to mistake a virus when it takes hold. If you don't know what to look for or if the computer seems a bit too quiet while still running slow, take a look at a few symptoms and deeper indicators to help you figure out what's going on.
Symptoms Of A Virus Pretending To Be Something Else
As computers have become more accessible, many virus authors found the need to get trickier. Simply hiding on a system and waiting for people to enter their credit card information is still a viable background technique, but it's easier for hackers to get the number directly from you. It's even better for hackers if you think they're helping you.
Fake anti-virus programs are all over the internet. They prey on unsuspecting users who either don't know what their anti-virus is (if they have one at all) or don't know exactly what their anti-virus software looks like. It's fairly simply to create a professional-looking program that finds all of these allegedly dangerous threats, then asks for credit card information to fix everything. It's even more convincing, since the fake anti-virus can also put real viruses on your computer. Technically, they're not lying!
At the first sign of trouble, get to another computer. This means a desktop, laptop, or even a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Simply look up the anti-virus program's name on your search engine of choice such as www.google.com or www.bing.com and there will usually be no shortage of results about the fake anti-virus program.
Many of the results come from reputable computer repair websites, but it's not difficult for a hacker to include a website with even more damaging files. Don't click anything! Get on the phone or use a friend's computer to contact a virus removal professional who has nothing to do with the virus.
The More Subtle Signs Of A Virus
There are times where you may have a more ambitious--or simply outdated--virus that shows no screens or obvious signs. In these cases, you'll have to "look under the hood" as it were to see what may be running in the background.
Major operating systems such as Windows and Apple have task managers and activity monitors that can show exactly what's going on in the background. Unfortunately, in order to make use of these managers and monitors, you have to know what's supposed to be running in the background in order to pick out what needs to go.
To make matters more complicated, everything can look suspicious if you're not a technician. Many systems use acronyms and holdovers from older computing technology that may look as suspicious as the actual threats. You can look up each item for a bit of education, but it's better to contact a professional to give them an idea of what's going on. No matter which operating system you're using, there's a counter that shows how many processes are running. That number is usually high enough to let a technician know there's a problem when a virus is involved.
Contact a virus removal professional to get help with a computer virus infection and to learn a bit more about what's going on inside your system.
For virus removal, contact a company such as Microworx.