The word virus is often used to describe three different types of computer infections: worms, trojans and viruses. These are malicious programs that get installed on a computer, often without the knowledge of the user, and can lead to privacy being invaded and/or data being destroyed or corrupted on users’ hard drives.
These infections are primarily spread in the following ways:
- Viruses: via e-mail attachments and file sharing
- Worms: by being connected to the Internet without effective protection (read on for more info)
- Trojans: by visiting corrupted web sites
Symptoms of Problems
Symptoms of an infected computer include:
- Computer is unstable and crashing frequently
- Slow Internet connection
- You receive a call from your Internet technical support alerting you of the situation
- Install a virus-checking program, and keep it up-to-date. It is worth noting that some viruses will disable virus checkers and you may need to try a few different programs to find and remove an infection.
- Links to some common virus checking programs:
- Install a firewall or router (with firewall built in).
- Links to some common firewalls programs:
- Microsoft provides free support for virus and Trojan infection cleanup:
- Do not open e-mail from sources you are not expecting
- Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file
- Have a good virus checking program that is kept up-to-date
- Have a good firewall installed and running