• Computer viruses are programs that infiltrate your computer from the outside and lodge themselves in your software. They're programs that serve harmful rather than helpful purposes, and whether that purpose is to record all your keystrokes, corrupt your information or simply copy itself and infiltrate all the names in your email address book depends on the type of virus. Checking for viruses requires that you have the proper software to locate and delete them.

    Watch for Signs

    If you don't already have virus protection software, the first sign you see of a virus infection on your computer is a negative sign. It could be a program that boots up without warning, pop-up windows that come from nowhere or just a much slower performance from your computer. If you notice these signs, you should download antivirus software. Even if you don't notice them, you should download the software anyway, because it's the only way to check your computer properly for the presence of viruses.

    Antivirus Software

    If you decide to download antivirus software from the Internet, you can often get a program for free. Websites like offer a large selection of free trial antivirus software programs that can also be purchased. Reviews from previous users about how well the software worked for them are also provided. Once you've selected your software (the free versions are usually good options for those on a budget), you need to download it and install it on your computer. Once it's installed, open the antivirus software and tell it to check your computer for viruses. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and complexity of your computer. If you have other programs running at the same time, it will lengthen the virus-checking process. When the software has finished scanning for viruses, it will tell you what suspicious files were found and ask what you want to do with them. Unless you know that the files aren't viruses, you should have the antivirus software delete them.


    Askville: How do I check my computer for viruses?

  • 1. Double-click or right-click the Antivirus System Tray icon; navigate to scan, and go 2. In Windows Explorer, right-click a file or directory and select Scan.
  • Symptoms of malware affecting currently installed ESET products: Your ESET product is disabled for no reason and cannot be restarted A threat is discovered or the red ESET Threat Detected window keeps appearing You receive frequent alerts from your ESET Personal firewall about an unknown program You receive pop-up alerts from rogue antivirus programs claiming that you are infected with multiple viruses Symptoms of computer malware that affect the Internet: You may receive the error "Internet Explorer could not display the page" when attempting to access certain websites Your web browser (for example, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) freezes, hangs or is unresponsive Your web browser's default homepage is changed Access to is blocked You get redirected to web pages other than the one you intended to go to You receive numerous web-browser pop-up messages Strange or unexpected toolbars appear at the top of your web browser Malware symptoms that affect system performance: Your computer runs slower than usual Your computer freezes, hangs or is unresponsive There are new icons on your Desktop that you do not recognize Your computer restarts by itself (but not a restart caused by Windows Updates) You see unusual error messages (for example, messages saying there are missing or corrupt files folders) You are unable to access the Control Panel, Task Manager, Registry Editor or Command Prompt. An infiltration has blocked access to the Control Panel, Task Manager, Registry Editor, and Command Prompt. Symptoms of malware in email: You receive messages in your mailbox without a sender address or subject People receive spam email from your email address with a third-party email program installed (for example, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express/Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird)

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