A computer virus is a software program that spreads from one computer to another interfering with the computer’s operation. It may corrupt or delete data, use an e-mail program to spread the virus, or even delete everything on the hard drive.
If you have one or more of the following symptoms, your computer could be at risk (from Microsoft):
- The computer runs slower than usual.
- The computer stops responding, or it locks up frequently.
- The computer crashes, and then it restarts every few minutes.
- The computer restarts on its own. Additionally, the computer does not run as usual.
- Applications on the computer do not work correctly.
- Disks or disk drives are inaccessible.
- You cannot print items correctly.
- You see unusual error messages.
- You see distorted menus and dialog boxes.
- There is a double extension on an attachment that you recently opened, such as a .jpg, .vbs, .gif, or .exe. extension.
- An antivirus program is disabled for no reason. Additionally, the antivirus program cannot be restarted.
- An antivirus program cannot be installed on the computer, or the antivirus program will not run.
- New icons appear on the desktop that you did not put there, or the icons are not associated with any recently installed programs.
- Strange sounds or music plays from the speakers unexpectedly.
- A program disappears from the computer even though you did not intentionally remove the program.
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