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Industry Information, Useful Tips, and Creative Solutions

Three Common Computer Viruses

Is your computer running slow and you think you might have a virus? Here are three types of viruses you might be infected with.

First, what exactly is a virus? A computer virus has two parts. One part has to do with replication. It keeps copying itself to other programs and files on the system. The second part has to do with some kind of harmful activity. It wants to steal your resources, sometimes for their gain and sometimes just to cause you harm.


A common class of virus has to do with messaging. The virus will read your contact list and then send a message to every one of them telling your contacts to buy some stock or product or visit some web site that will get them infected with the same virus. Nowadays, it won’t just email the contacts, it might rely on Facebook friends instead, messaging them through Facebook instead.


Are you getting popups on your screen when your browser isn’t running? Are you seeing more popups than usual when surfing the web? For the sites you are most familiar with, you are typically familiar with the manner in which ads are presented. Are these showing up differently or for different get rich quick type products now? Is the popup offering you a way to buy a program to remove the virus? That’s just a way to further infect your computer.


There are some popups that are phony and offer you a way to remove a virus if you pay them, but if you close and restart the browser the message goes away. There is a second class of these popups dubbed ransomware. Here, your computer has literally been taken over by the hacker. They’ll offer a way to get the computer back if you pay their ransom. It will encrypt all your data files. While paying could get your computer back, you’ll never know for sure if they didn’t leave something behind. Here, you’ll need to rely on your backups to get your system back up and running safely.

There are two parts to the best defense against all this. First, make sure you have anti-virus software installed. More importantly though is ensuring that the software is updated with new “signature” data. New viruses are discovered every day, if not more frequently. It is this signature data that allows your anti-virus software to learn about the new viruses it needs to protect you against. There are also secondary programs you can run that are more anti-malware, that help detect spyware. By using both types of programs, you’ll best be able to keep  your system clean.

If you feel that your computer running slowly and you think you might have a virus, please contact us for a free diagnosis. One of our diagnostic experts can quickly check your system to ensure there is no malicious spyware, malware, or other infections on your device.

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