The Internet is perhaps one of the technologies that have greatly changed the world. On one hand, it has made communication and business transactions a whole lot easier and faster, making the world appear to be smaller than it actually is. On the other hand, since the Internet is one of the most difficult forms of technologies to be regulated, it has become an avenue for the proliferation of many computer virus that have caused so much damage such that it has caused even the most secure access to be infiltrated and eventually corrupted. Such was the case of the infamous “I Love You” computer virus that had caused the mainframe of many government agencies in the United States to crash.
What is a computer virus?
A computer virus is actually a computer program developed for a variety of reasons, all of which cause infected computers to become corrupted and crash. The destruction done by a computer virus ranges from simply deleting your files to overloading your computer with so many tasks that it slows down in processing various forms of data. Some computer virus even allows its developers to hack into your computer hard drive to retrieve your personal information and passwords which could allow them to access various accounts from your email to your PayPal account.
Detecting a computer virus
Although your computer may be protected by an anti-virus program, these anti-virus software programs can only detect virus programs that have been updated into its database. This is why even if you may have the most sophisticated anti-virus software program, you can never be too sure as to how protected your computer really is.
Here are a few things to look out for if you are suspicious whether your computer is infected with a computer virus:
Processing Speed :
Computer virus tends to overload your computer’s task manager with a load of different programs which could cause your computer’s speed to dramatically slow down. Generally, the processes shown in your task manager would not go above 10% of your computer’s usage. You can check this by holding down the CTRL key and the ALT key and then pressing the DEL key. Select the Task Manager button in the options provided. It would provide a pop up menu. The computer usage percentage is located on the lower left side of the pop up menu. If the usage is at least 50% or higher, chances are your computer has been infected with a computer virus.
Missing Files :
This is perhaps the most common sign that your computer is infected with a computer virus. Many computer virus that have been developed and are now going around the Internet have been made to actually delete some of your files in random. This would eventually cause many of the files and programs in your computer to allow your operating system to be deleted, causing you being unable to log in and use your computer.
Error Messages :
Error messages that suddenly spring up when you are trying to access programs that you have long been using is a strong tell-tale sign that your computer is infected as these error messages would often come up if the program has been corrupted.
What to Do :
If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus, try running your anti-virus program with your operating system running on Safe Mode. By doing so, you would prevent any programs not to function, making you able to delete these corrupted files once it has been detected by the anti-virus program to be corrupted by a virus. If this fails, the only other option for you to do is to have the entire hard drive reformatted. If you are not sure on how to go about this or worried that you might not be able to retrieve your files after reformatting your hard drive, it would be best to send this to a computer technician for them to reformat your hard drive.