Anytime you’re on the Internet, you’re at risk of catching a computer virus. They can sneak into your computer, destroy your data and damage your system until it’s virtually useless. While some viruses can travel with the purpose of collecting personal information off your computer, most are spread solely for the purpose of destruction. The best way to keep computer viruses away from your hard drive is to understand more about them.
The symptoms of an infected computer are easy to spot, especially if you’re used to computer performing at top-notch speeds. If you have a significant increase or decrease in the amount of data stored in a file, it could signal that a virus has attached itself to that file. If you suddenly receive pop-up messages, unsolicited graphics and if files are deleted from your system, those could also be signs that you have a virus on your computer.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have a virus on your computer, it’s best to run anti-virus software. This software, available from companies like Norton, McAfee, AVG and more, will scan your computer looking for computer viruses. If it finds an infection, it will safely remove it from your computer. If you set your anti-virus software to run regularly, it will check for updates on a certain schedule, so your computer always has the most up to date protection. In most cases, you can find free versions of anti-virus software through the company’s website. It may not offer all of the bells and whistles as the version you’re required to purchase, but most people don’t need all those features anyway.
While anti-virus software will protect your computer from viruses, you should take precautions on your own. Never download anything unless it comes from a reputable company, and avoid clicking on links or downloading files that look suspicious in your email.