You might have a virus or other malicious computer program on you computer (malware) if your computer is:
- SLOW in loading programs, ‘thinking’
- FREEZING or not opening programs properly
- displaying POP UPs alerting you of a danger
Computer viruses are contagious just like people colds and flu illnesses. Except you don’t get them from catching the bus or the person in the cubicle next to you… but email attachments and downloads and inadvertently clicking on malicious links. A USB stick may also transfer data from one computer to another via opening a file saved on it.
Computer viruses can be self-replicating — capable of copying themselves across files or other computers without a user’s consent.
Okay, enough about how you get viruses. How to you prevent getting them in the first place?
- Install an Antivirus and program. All the big companies should be somewhat effective. Saunders IT currently recommend Avast (which has taken over AVG) and you can even download the free version here. We sell a Avast Business Cloudcare in 2 year packages which offers even more protection. Please talk to us and we can install it for you in person or remotely. A professional anti virus software runs scans in the background and detects any problems.
**Please note: Rely on Microsoft Defender at your own risk – Microsoft have created the Windows Operating System for a global platform. Their core business is NOT Internet Security and Saunders IT regularly book in machines that have no extra antivirus or malware protection, sometimes with irretrievable data.
- Be careful of where you download material and programs and email attachments. Always use the source site where possible. For instance, use Avast itself not a third party such as www.othercompany.com/avast. Keep in mind sometimes other sources have only a slight difference in name to the main company and might appear on google before the source site like www.getavastnow.com.
- Visit reputable websites. When you visit dodgy websites (scammy, some gaming and pornography sites are common offenders) viruses are rampant and can wreak havoc on your computer.
- DON’T ever let a stranger such as a telemarketer on your computer even if they say they are from Microsoft or Telstra or any other company you may deal with. They can install worms and other software to access your banking details and Saunders IT have had customers lose money in this way.
If you do get a virus….
Run your antivirus scan, and malware removal tool if you are able and ensure your files are backed up. SaundersIT have access to a professional range of virus and malware removal tools and may be able to clean your data. Sometimes the operating system files are corrupted and the computer needs to be reformatted. It is always smart to expect viruses are just part of life such as flat car tires and if you keep a list of your software licenses and a back up of your files, the event will be a mere inconvenience rather than a wipe out.