I was reading one of the SANS OUCH! newsletters today (which I have discussed in this post) and saw a nice little article with some telltale signs of a computer infection.  Initially, I thought to myself “How could anyone not know?”  But after reading the article and thinking about it for a little bit, I realized that most people probably just assume it’s the computer’s fault.  Whether it’s age, the slowness of Vista, running many programs at once, or a shortage of hard drive space, something else gets to be the scapegoat while the infection continues to worsen the machine’s condition.  Included below is the article from the newsletter (which can be found here).  Click to read more…

Consumer Awareness:  Is my computer infected with a virus? What should I do?

Be alert! After you open and run an infected program or attachment on
your computer, you might not realize that you’ve introduced a virus
until you notice something isn’t quite right. Here are some signs that
your computer might be infected:

* Your computer runs more slowly than normal
* Your computer stops responding or locks up often
* Your computer crashes and restarts every few minutes
* Your computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
* Applications on your computer don’t work correctly
* Disks or disk drives are inaccessible
* You can’t print normally
* You see unusual error messages
* You see distorted menus and dialog boxes

These are common symptoms of infection-but they might also indicate
hardware or software problems that have nothing to do with a virus.

Be smart!
* Do not ignore the symptoms. Write them down, especially the text of
any unusual error messages.
* Look for a pattern, and make a note of it.  For example, are all of
your applications affected?  Is the problem only with printing?  When
does your system crash?
* Contact your network administrator (computer help desk) or your
Internet Service Provider, or call the technical support number provided
by the manufacturer of your system.
* Answer the technician’s questions carefully, and describe the problem
in as much detail possible. The more useful information you can provide,
the quicker the problem will be resolved.
* The technician may advise you to stop using your computer. If so,
follow that advice. Short-term inconvenience is better than losing all
your data or having your identity stolen.

More information: http://www.microsoft.com/protect/computer/viruses/indicators.mspx

If you think you might be infected, you can also contact us here at ComputerJourney.com and we will assist you in diagnosing your problem.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 10:20 am and is filed under Basic Computer Use, Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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