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How to identify a computer virus and some top prevention tips

Unfortunately, no matter how advanced your antivirus software is, malware can still invade your defences. This is because cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to infiltrate antivirus programs. As such, to protect yourself and your business from malware, you need to understand the common signs of infection and how to prevent viruses in the first place.

Common signs of a computer virus

• A program or application disappears and you haven’t removed it yourself
• New applications appear without you downloading them
• Music begins to play through your speakers but it doesn’t appear to be related to any programs you’re currently running
• Unexpected windows pop-up
• Your antivirus software stops working or you’re unable to install a new program
• It takes a long time for your computer to start up or open programs
• Files go missing
• The hard drive seems to be whirring even though you’re not doing very much
• Emails are sent autonomously from your accounts

It’s important to note that while all of these symptoms can be caused by malware, some of them may also be the result of faulty hardware and software or a lack of disk space. Alternatively, your computer could simply be very old and struggling to keep up with modern-day demands.  

How to prevent viruses

As we highlighted above, it’s not always possible to prevent viruses, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. These include:

Keeping your computer updated: Make sure your operating system and your Internet browser are up-to-date with the latest patches, which are designed to fix security flaws and bugs.

Don’t click on questionable links or pop-ups: Not all pop-ups and websites are dangerous, but if a webpage is unsecured, do your due diligence before entering any personal information.

Never open an email unless you know the sender: Similar to the point above, always think twice before clicking on a link or attachment from an unknown source. You should also avoid forwarding an email on to someone else until you have confirmed its validity.

Use antivirus software: Antivirus software programs are still one of the best ways to prevent viruses and malware attacks, so ensure you choose a reputable supplier and keep the software updated.

If you would like more advice on how to prevent viruses or are concerned your computer is already infected, contact our virus removal specialists at Computerman IT today. We specialise in computer virus removal Cairns-wide.