1 September 2008

What are the symptoms of a computer virus?

Because I know so many people that have viruses/spyware/malware/badware/phishing scams/smitfraud/trojans/worms/zombie infected computers,
I've decided to make a list of things that viruses might to do your computer.

One simple point: viruses might be very good at getting into your computer, but they aren't very good at hiding themselves.

The best software I know is ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite.
Other software I've tried that just wasn't as good as this includes:
- Symantec Norton
- AVG/Grisoft
- Kaspersky
- BitDefender
- F-Secure
- Comodo
- Microsoft Windows OneCare
- PC Tools

Here are some telltale signs of viruses:
- The sounds your computer makes when you turn it on are either wrong or staggered
- Your desktop wallpaper changes without notice
- When on Internet Explorer, and trying to visit pages, it takes you to the wrong ones
- There are new toolbars and menus on Internet Explorer that you never had before
- Windows Live Messenger/MSN sends people messages with URLs (website addresses) in that you never wrote down
- Lots of emails are sent through Outlook Express or other emails that you never sent yourself
- Programs and popups come up on your computer (called something like Antivirus XP 2008) saying that your computer is infected and that you need to buy the software in order to remove it.
- Your computer restarts without doing anything at all
- Lots of icons appear on your desktop and don't know what they are for or why they are there.
- Your computer is a lot slower to startup, turn off or even do anything
- You see black screens in boxes that come up on the screen that may have white text in them or not
- You try to open anything on your computer and it doesnt work

Here are some websites where you can scan your computer for free.
- http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/scan/avscanner.html
- http://support.f-secure.com/enu/home/onlineservices/fshc/front.html
- http://www.iolo.com/threatcenter/virusscanstart.aspx
- http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp?affid=105
- http://onecare.live.com/site/en-GB/default.htm

And for your firewall:
- https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2
- http://www.pcflank.com/scanner1s.htm