Computer Repair for Damaging Viruses
Does your computer have a virus? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. At PC Laptops, we can cure your computer virus, and we can give you some advice about inoculating your devices against future viruses.
We call the code that slows down our computers (or renders them useless) viruses because like live viruses, they can spread from device to device, infecting each one and wreaking havoc. They are often hidden in files or documents that may look innocuous, but really harbor malicious content.
Sometimes your computer gets a virus accidentally, but at other times, the infection is intentional.
One common way computers get viruses is via a download. Oftentimes these downloads are on sketchy sites that promise you can get a song, movie or game for free. It’s often too good to be true.
When you download software, you must be extremely careful not to accidentally download a virus with it. This is especially true if you are downloading something potentially shady off the internet and not a legit and well-known program.
What happens when you download random software is that it can come with more than what you bargained for. Worse, you can accidentally agree to download a virus with your software if you do not carefully read each prompt.
If you have antivirus software installed on your computer, run the download through it after completion to help make sure it didn’t contain any viruses.
Another common way unsuspecting users get viruses on their computers is by clicking on a strange link in an email. Never click on a link in an email unless you are sure you know what it is. Don’t be fooled by scam messages that appear to come from friends and family in your contact list. This is a major source of viruses. If you are not expecting an email from your contact, ask them if they sent it before clicking on a link.
This goes for text messages from strangers containing links as well. These messages may try to get you to believe you have to click on a link to receive a package or a prize, but these are all scams.
In the same way that shaking hands can transmit a virus, inserting anything into your computer can also transmit a virus. That includes CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, thumb drives or anything containing information.
It can be scary when you innocently click a link in a Reddit thread and your computer gives you a blue screen and starts making an ear-splitting noise. You just want it to stop, but try not to panic. These types of scenarios are almost always scams, and eventually words pop up directing you to contact someone about a potential virus.
The kicker is that your computer hasn’t contracted a virus at that point — but it will if you contact the scammers. Instead, take a deep breath and calmly press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. From there, you can shut down your browser, and it’s probably a good idea to reboot.
The most common sign your computer has a virus is that it slows down considerably. Unfortunately, your computer can slow down for many other reasons as well, so this isn’t exactly a red flag. If you’re unsure, it’s best to bring it into our computer repair shop and have it checked out.
Other signs of viruses include frequent crashes, programs opening and closing randomly, weird popups and increasingly long lag times.
Viruses can do a lot of different things to your computer. They can gum up your hard drive so that your programs barely limp along when you try to use them. They can erase your data, including important files and photos (that’s why it’s important to back your info up in the cloud). As bad as these scenarios are, the worst thing a virus can do to your computer is leave it vulnerable to data mining by hackers.
A virus can learn your passwords and allow others access to your financial data, personal information and basically anything that’s on your computer.
Some of the most notorious viruses were created as lark by bored teenagers. These viruses are pesky and annoying, and they can waste your time and money. But other viruses are written to steal information and commit crimes, such as making fraudulent bank withdrawals and opening unauthorized accounts.
The best thing you can do to protect your computer from viruses is to install trusted antivirus software and use a firewall. If you’re not sure if your firewall is enabled or you’re not comfortable installing your own antivirus software, the techs at PC Laptops computer repair store can take care of it for you.
Also remember to update your computer and change your passwords regularly. If you don’t use a cloud storage service, get an external hard drive to back up your data. This doesn’t actually protect you against viruses, but it protects against data loss.
What to Do if Your Computer Gets a Virus
If you think your computer has a virus, bring it in to the PC Laptops computer repair store. Whether you need laptop repair, PC repair or cell phone repair, our techs can help. Our computer store has nine convenient locations throughout northern Utah.