What is a Virus and should I worry about them?

What is a virus?

Viruses are nasty bits of software that are downloaded onto your computer, laptop or tablet, sometimes without you even knowing it’s happened.  Viruses come in many different variants, with varying levels of annoyance and inconvenience. Some viruses will clutter your device with annoying popups, others will slow up your device, others will monitor what you type into the computer (usernames and passwords)and some even encrypt your documents, photos and videos and hold you to ransom so you have to pay someone to get your data back.

How do viruses get onto my device?

A virus always has to be downloaded onto your device, they will not just appear.  Usually virus infections happen when you visit websites that have been infected with malicious code, or when an infected memory stick / memory card are inserted into your device.  Also links from malicious emails rank highly on infection rates.

How do I know if my device has a virus?

It all depends on what virus your device has picked up.  Some viruses such as keyloggers (who detect all key presses on your keyboard and send them back to a remote server) will not have any adverse effect on the operation of your device so you will not notice if you are not running any antivirus.  Others will dramatically slow down your device, or you may start seeing lots of popups when visiting websites.

How can I prevent getting viruses on my device?

There are three simple steps to take to stop getting infected.  Make sure you are running a good antivirus program.  There are many free variants online, but you get what you pay for.  An effective antivirus program needs to check for updates every 30 minutes to an hour for new releases you get this with paid for antivirus software.  Free versions only check for updates once a day and are usually restricted to downloading updates that are two or three days old.  The next step is not to open any emails you do not recognise, and certainly don’t click on any links in them!  Lastly make sure to run weekly antivirus scans on your device.

If you need any help with removing viruses, or suspect your device may have an infection then give us a call on 01373 470170 or pop in to our show room in Vallis Way.  Our techies are very experienced in detecting and removing even the most well-hidden viruses and we can also install an award winning antivirus solution for you if you are unsure how to set up an antivirus.

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