What is a virus, and do I have one?

Worried about computer safety? There are a few easy ways to tell if you’re infected, and some simple ways to take care of it yourself – if you’re comfortable doing so.  As always, prevention is always the best medicine!

#1 – when you try to go to a website, you get redirected. This is a good sign of an infection. It’s called browser hijacking, and it means that something has infected your system and you need to get it taken care of…sooner rather than later! This kind of infection will only get worse, as the hijacker is already controlling your web browsing.

#2 – your computer is acting “strange”. It might be freezing on you, your web browser isn’t doing what you want it to, and you feel like you really want to just throw it out the window!  If this is the case, run your antivirus, and your anti-malware programs (if you have them)

If you don’t have an antimalware program, we recommend Malware Bytes (www.malwarebytes.org). It’s free, and has a high success rate at cleaning most malware infections.

#3 – New home page. If your home page in your browser has changed, but you didn’t change it…you’re infected!  This is a good opportunity for you to run your virus or malware protection!

#4 – you get a popup on your screen telling you that you have a virus (or hundreds of viruses!), but you didn’t run your virus protection, or this is a screen you’ve never seen before, it’s probably a virus! Your antivirus doesn’t usually act like this – it’s a malicious program hoping that you will download and run something…

If your computer is behaving badly, it might be best to have it looked at by a professional!  Like your car, or your body, a little prevention can save you a lot of hassle down the road!