Do You Have a Virus?
Having a virus is one of the scariest things that can happen when using a computer. Not only are the potential damages frightening, but viruses often display disparaging messages printed across your screen. They are not always so obvious, however, and can be running on your computer in the background for years without you even knowing or feeling a thing.
Follow along to learn how to detect a computer virus and protect your PC in the future.
Viruses have been causing widespread destruction in terms of data loss as well as financial losses. These malicious programs can ruin lives. In fact, cyber-crime as a whole has been found to cost $67 billion in damages, making it a serious threat.
Not all viruses are the same. There is a massive variety of computer viruses that range from the blatant and crude, to the complex and sophisticated. Those that are elegant in design are all the more dangerous – these often run in the background, working in the shadows of your computer hardware without being detected.
Detecting the more sophisticated viral beasts is sometimes rather difficult. Here’s what you need to know about the major types of computer viruses in distribution.
1. Dangerously Simple: Boot Viruses
Boot viruses are one of the most frustrating and potentially difficult viruses to get rid of because they initiate every time the machine boots up, hence the name.
2. Harder to Detect: Time Bomb Virus
Time bombs are harder to detect by default because they do not take effect until a predetermined date and time. Some of the most famous viruses have been of this variety, including the Michelangelo virus.
3. Eloquent but Deadly: Worm Viruses
Worm viruses are perhaps the most remarkable in terms of sophistication. These viruses work by replicating themselves throughout the machine. The idea behind the worm virus is to distribute it as widely across the system as possible.
How do you know if your laptop has a virus? Unless you contract one of the less eloquent varieties, it can be hard to tell without running proactive diagnostics on your machine to detect them.
If it shows on your screen, you’ll see something alarming like this.
How do you know if your laptop has a virus? There are a number of signs that can help tell you if your computer might have a virus.
While some viruses don’t do their damage immediately, they can still exhibit enough to make themselves known. One of the things to look for is a sudden uptick in the amount of pop-ups you get on your screen, or if you keep getting sent to the wrong site when surfing the web. Here are some of the other major signs of a computer virus to watch out for.
Slow Performance and Flashing Warnings
Another major indication that your computer has been infected with a virus is unusually slow PC performance. If your computer starts running noticeably slower than usual, it could mean that you have a virus.
Other times, the virus makes itself known and leaves little to the imagination when flashing on your screen displaying warning messages. These messages typically either say that your computer has been hacked, ask for money, or both.
Your Computer Doesn’t Start in Windows Mode
When your computer doesn’t start correctly and launches in something other than Windows mode, it can mean that you have a virus. The issue is either caused by a harmful virus, or by having problems with your machine’s device drivers.
How Do You Get Rid of a Virus?
Getting rid of a virus is often much more challenging than preventing one from being contracted in the first place. Anti-virus software combined with regularly updated drivers are some the two most important lines of defense.
Here’s what to consider when asking yourself how to eliminate a virus. Honestly, it depends on how sophisticated the virus is. If the virus is particularly complex, you will probably have to take your computer to an expert to have it removed.
If the virus is relatively simple, you can typically clear it using a free virus remover that scans your system for viruses and eliminates them from the machine. When scanning for viruses, you’ll typically see results like these.
When the virus is more sophisticated, however, it gets complicated. In these cases, the free virus removers don’t work. Try taking your PC to an expert before using the next option.
The final option available to you is only appropriate when you have run out of other options. The last resort option is called a clean install and essentially wipes everything from your hard drive. That will most assuredly remove any viruses, but your data will also be lost, making it a scorched earth approach to be avoided.
Scenarios like this are what makes preventative measures so important. You can avoid all of that trouble by keeping your drivers updated and protecting your machine with adequate antivirus software.
Hackers search for points of weakness and evaluate computers looking for any vulnerabilities that can be leveraged to gain access. One of these vulnerable access points are device drivers. However, not many users know much about device drivers and the critical roles they play on your computer. You can see the relationship between drivers and users in this example.
Device drivers are specialized software components that help your computer’s hardware work together. Outdated drivers can cause all kinds of problems. Some of these are natural side-effects of the drivers being outdated, but this is not always the case. Other times it can be an indication that your machine has a virus or was hacked.
How do you protect your PC from viruses targeting outdated drivers? Keeping them all routinely updated is the single most effective way to prevent these intrusions and acts of maleficence.
Making sure that all of your drivers are constantly up to date, however, is more easily said than done when you are updating them manually.
Manual device driver updates are tedious, laborious, and often frustrating to perform.
No one wants to be sitting at dinner one minute and then have to rush home and explain that they have to go update their drivers. That’s why you should use special software that keeps all of your drivers updated automatically at all times.
That’s right, automatic. With the right software like Driver Support, you won’t have to worry about a thing. The software will keep your drivers updated automatically and take the stress off your shoulders.
When looking for a software solution for automatic driver updates, you want to make the right choice. You wouldn’t want to install something and contract a virus. That’s why reputation is so important in the software industry, and Driver Support has been a trusted leader since 1996.
Take a proactive step towards securing your PC today and install Driver Support to enjoy automatic driver updates that will keep your machine safe so you’ll never have to ask yourself the question if you have a computer virus or not from a device driver.
When you Download Driver Support on your machine, you’re giving it the protection it needs, get started now.