Possible signs that you might have a virus;
- Files mysteriously disappear or appear.
- The hard drive starts the boot sequence but hangs before loading the operating system.
- Files constantly get corrupted and they cannot be loaded by the application that created them.
- The hard drive automatically formats (this one’s pretty much a dead give away).
- The computer makes strange noises or the monitor displays strange graphics.
- Unusual error messages appear on the screen.
- Available disk space decreases without new files having been created.
A virus can easily spread by these methods;
- Using disks that have been used on other computing systems.
- Buying software from less than reliable sources, especially if it may be pirated.
- Downloading files from bulletin boards or from the Internet.
- Failing to write protect original program disks.
- Connecting a computer to an unprotected network.
Here are 5 steps you can use to try and avoid an infection;
- Install and use anti-virus software. Set the software to run automatically at boot up. Anti-virus software is also available for use when surfing the net.
- Upgrade your Anti-Virus software regularly.
- Only buy software from reputable vendors; do not use pirated software.
- In a business situation, develop and follow site procedures regarding the use of software and all computer access.
- Have a recovery procedure in place in case of infection. This is particularly important in a business situation.
What is the difference between a virus and a worm?
- A computer virus attaches itself to a program or file enabling it to spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels. Like a human virus, a computer virus can range in severity: some may cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your hardware, software or files.
- A worm is similar to a virus by design and is considered to be a sub-class of a virus. Worms spread from computer to computer, but unlike a virus, it has the capability to travel without any human action. A worm takes advantage of file or information transport features on your system, which is what allows it to travel unaided.
What is Spy-ware?
Spy-ware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spy-ware is typically hidden from the user.