How do you know if your computer is infected wih a virus?

Question

Hi,

I was just wondering, how DO you know if you have a virus or not?

Thanks,

Angela

Answer

This question was answered on February 6, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

How do you know if your computer is infected? It's not always so obvious at first But there are hints If several .EXE files are bigger than they used to be by about the same size, that is, each has grown by 10 kilobytes, for example, then your computer may be infected Your anti-virus checker should keep track of the size of these files Executable files should never change size

The contents of your document or the original settings have been changed Also, maybe a password was automatically set or some of your files were deleted Again, check to make sure that no one else was using your computer and reset these properties or accidentally deleted your files

When a virus starts to take up space in memory, then the amount of time to execute programs may start slowing down Slowing down doesn't necessarily mean that there is a virus, you may just have many more programs open then you normally do which will cause the speed to be slower

Different viruses cause different symptoms Some viruses cause letters to fall down to the bottom of the screen or present strange messages such as, "Your computer is now stoned." However, sometimes some unusual things happen because the software doesn't work properly with your computer's hardware configuration, not because it's infected

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Author

Posted by Ileen of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 6, 2003