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