Kasha

Hi, my name is Kasha Blake. Web Developer/ Server Admin: Focused on Mobile responsive design and Search engine optimization

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Non-Geeks: PCs, Viruses, and Prevention

stethoscope on a computer

Generally speaking, a computer virus prevents your PC on doing necessary actions and commands – this might be caused by downloading files and hacking. Modern computer viruses nowadays are getting more unnoticeable even with advanced operating systems and frameworks. If you don’t equip your computer with the antivirus software – it’s like letting your guard down, it will be very hard for you to say whether your computer is already infected or not (which is really bad if you have been processing sensitive information such as bank accounts, personal emails and so on).

Virus, Worms, and Bots

Microsoft and other companies have been creating for antivirus tools for years and yet computers can still get infected these days. This is because hackers and virus developers are continuously looking for loopholes in operating systems and antivirus softwares. Thus, there is a need to update virus definitions from time to time so your computer can tell whether a virus is already present in your computer.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of if your computer is already infected by a virus – in fact, it happens most of the time especially to people who are always online. Thousands of PCs every year are getting infected by worms and bots that could eat up your computer in minutes – the worst is, turning your computer into a zombie.

Knowing the Presence of Virus

You don’t have to be a computer geek to know if your computer is already infected with a virus – the important thing that you need to do is to observe your computer in aspects like booting and operation speed, frequency of software crashes, and unusual computing activities.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my computer slowing down?
  • Are programs crashing without any warning?
  • Is my hard drive filling up at a high rate?
  • Are there automated emails telling me that I’m sending out infected emails?
  • Lastly, is there a message telling me that my computer is already infected?

These questions may help you a lot in diagnosing your computer with virus (although some symptoms might also be caused of Windows update bugs, badly written programs, and so on). To stop you from worrying a lot whether it’s a virus or not, you favorite search engine can help you a lot with your questions.

Another symptom of getting a computer virus is a high network activity even if you are not browsing on the web – this is alarming since there might be someone accessing important information in your computer. Think about how many computers and people got affected by the top 10 hackers in the world – they got rich and famous just by accessing computers via remote desktop and other hacking strategies. You can ward malicious packets with the use of firewall software (this will be discussed later).

Antivirus and Firewall

A newly bought PC or laptop is usually equipped with an antivirus trial – once it expires, you have the choice of buying it in a yearly subscription or not. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get another one that you see on the web (your choice might be caused by price, ease of use, and effectiveness). Whatever your reason is, the most important reason why you have to buy the antivirus software like Norton, Avira, AVG, or Kaspersky is to ward off viruses that you can come across by downloading files or browsing unknown sites.

If you can’t afford a yearly subscription of antivirus tools, you might want to try looking for free versions of these softwares. AVG is one of the most popular and easy to use antivirus tools that you can download for free on the web (however, it’s really advisable to buy one for a more secure online activity).

Most of these antivirus softwares are already equipped with a firewall tool – something that sniffs out malicious packets that might cause problems in your computer. There are also some good open-source firewall tools on the web that you can use whether your computer is running on Windows, Linux, or Mac. It’s a great tool that can run alongside antivirus softwares for double-checking network activities. Comodo, ZoneAlarm, and Jetico are popular open-source firewalls that you can download for free.

Keeping Your PC Virus-Free

Internet ports serve as the medium between the internet and your computer – keep them hidden. It’s advisable to have a router If you are connecting to the internet via broadband or DSL because it also serves as an extra protection. Thousands of people get viruses from unknown emails – do not do this mistake. Being wary of emails from people you don’t know and boosting up your email security setting is a must.

Make sure that your antivirus is update – set it in the “always update” setting (although this might eat up some RAM, it will prevent viruses from crawling up in your system). Microsoft, Linux, and Mac consistently provide system updates – use them for your security! For Windows, set the windows update into “automatic updating” and be patient in installing it (since some updates takes some time to be installed).

Kasha

Kasha Blake

Web Developer/ Server Admin: Focused on Mobile responsive design and Search engine optimization