How to tell if you have a Computer Virus — Psinergy LLC

How to tell if you have a Computer Virus

One of the most frequent things we hear when a client brings us their computer is, “I think I have a virus!


Honestly, it can be difficult to tell if you have a virus and to be honest, it really is better to be safe than sorry. Even scarier is that a lot of well-written viruses are meant to hide so well that you normally can’t tell they are there. Because of this, our two most popular services Virus Removal and Computer Tune-ups are basically the same, and why we recommend having the Computer Tune-up and Optimization done at least yearly.

With Computer Tune-ups, we always do base level scans to see if there’s any evidence of virus activity, and with the Virus Removal service, we also re-optimize and tune-up the system after the infections have been dealt with. Next, “bloatware”, which is where the Tune-up focuses more, is technically malware (an overall broad term for viruses), though generally doesn’t need in-depth virus removal techniques.


Here are some major things to watch for:

  • Things to watch for with viruses

    Slow response – slow boot speed, programs “thinking” a lot while opening, slow web page load speed

  • Excessive hard drive activity – the drive indicator light is almost always fully lit
  • Odd pop-ups – whether or not you are actively browsing the internet
  • Background audio – especially when you have nothing open that would be playing audio
  • Web page redirection – the site that loads is not what you typed in or intended to get to
  • Icons for programs you didn’t install – whether on your desktop or in your system tray
  • Unexplained loss of internet access – even though you are properly connected to your network. Also, many anti-virus software packages will now limit internet access if your program and virus definition files are too far out of date (this is an attempt to help you not get infected), so check to make sure that is up-to-date first.
  • Files that are corrupted or not accessible – especially prevalent with Ransomware

The slowness and excessive hard drive activity can also be caused by automatic updates and even legitimate programs running in the background. We also check for these when you come in for a Virus Removal or a Computer Tune-up.

There is no perfect way to protect yourself from viruses and malware, but some important steps are to make sure you have a good anti-virus (like Avast) that is up-to-date, are current on Microsoft and third-party program updates, and don’t click on or open unknown links. Reminder: normally, do not have more than one virus protection solution installed.

Also, just as a reminder, if you get a call from someone or a pop-up message in your web browser saying you have a virus, it is most likely a scam. Do not give someone you don’t know or trust remote access to your computer.

See also:


Think you have a Virus?

Think you have a virusIf you feel you might have a virus, or you gave a scammer remote access to your computer, assume that your entire system is compromised and turn it off immediately and bring it to a qualified and trusted technician for Virus Removal. Also, change all your passwords (bank, credit card, email, social media, …) from a known secure computer, if and when possible. Viruses can be very tricky and complex, and if removal is not done correctly, will do more harm than good (which we see on a regular basis, and those systems end up needing a System Corruption repair instead of the Virus Removal service). Lastly, always make sure to have regular backups. CrashPlan has some very nice, affordable automatic options.

The post How to tell if you have a Computer Virus appeared first on Psinergy Tech.

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