As incredible as the personal computer has been for society and technology, it is also to blame for one of the most annoying and destructive problems to plague humanity: The computer virus. Yes, there are few things that can get under your skin faster than seeing your PC damaged or even destroyed by an evil Trojan, a nasty worm, or a violent piece of malware. But as with real viruses, these electronic infections also come with their share of symptoms. We’ll be looking at some of the most recognizable signs so that you’ll be able to save your PC before it is too late.

Programs Start Automatically

Be extra cautious if you notice programs that you didn’t click on beginning to open. This is often a good sign that a virus has crept into your PC. The same goes for programs that close without your consent. If error messages pop up, also take note: Many times the messages are a clue that your PC is having trouble dealing with an unwelcome program. In most cases, the virus is attempting to access certain parts of your PC so that it can spread the infection even further.

Hard Disk Constantly Working

I can always tell when my computer has a virus because I can hear the hard disk struggling nonstop. It’s much the same as when you have a cold and your breathing is labored and difficult. But this wheeze is one of constant overload. Your modem might also start blinking constantly. This means that the virus is causing your computer and/or modem to spread its germs throughout your hard drive and into cyberspace beyond.

Computer Runs Slow

Often, an overworked hard disk will also be accompanied by a slow computer when a virus is in the picture. When you see that the performance of your PC is far below average, make sure to rule out some other symptoms before you decide that a virus is to blame. Has it been a while since you last defragmented your computer? If so, make sure to do that now and then see if the speed of your PC has improved at all. Also, if you haven’t cleaned the registry lately, do it now. This is another possible culprit. With any luck, one of these two processes might help speed up your computer and rule out a virus. If not, you’ll need the help of some antivirus software right away.

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