The onset of a cold, flu, or even worse, covid. The groggy feeling when your head is pounding, you have a blocked nose and your cough sounds like a 1970's Victa lawnmower starting up. You struggle through the day but given a choice, you would prefer to switch on Netflix, climb under the blankets and darken the room. Most of us seem healthy enough to fight these infections after spending a few days feeling like crap.

Your Health and your Computerís Health

The symptoms you suffered might mean a few different possibilities about health issues. A computer virus is a bit the same. Your PC or laptop shows symptoms that may mean a few different problems. While each symptom on its own may not trigger any red flags, a handful of unexpected behaviours may set off alarm bells ó if you know what to look out for. But remember, help is only a phone call away.

Over the next two articles, we will look at some telltale signs that will show your computer has a virus.

1. Funny stuff happening with your browser

In the mid-2000's we had pop-ups. These were the love child of IE - Internet Explorer - and were a sign that malware was lurking on your computer. These days, a pop-up is an annoying advert, or not so annoying if the topic is of interest. But a pop-up appears when you haven't opened your browser? Uh!Oh! That's not so good. These pop-ups usually advertise fake antivirus software, or a message that your computer is infected.

Your Private Tool Shed

But pop-ups are not the only indicator that malware is knocking on your door. Toolbars that you think you didn't download and are cluttering your browser is evidence that there might be a problem. Most browsers allow you to search from the address bar, and it often defaults to Google. If your search provider has suddenly changed, or your Google search results look unusual, then you can be fairly certain you have an unwelcome intruder. Hopefully, your toolbar has never looked as bad as the picture shows, but it's possible that you might have picked up a few strays during your surfing and clicking. If you donít know how to clear them, and you live in Beauty Point or Greens Beach, then youíre in luck.

The Pirating Activities of your unwanted Toolbars

Toolbars have been synonymous with junk for a long time, and with good reason. Browsers like chrome, have hundreds of features and there is no need to have more than one browser with handy extensions. At best, these bars take up space and are useless (like the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer) and at worst, they slow down your browsing, hijack your searches, and track your activity.

2. Your Antivirus Is Disabled

Compare this to your home. If somebody wanted to break into your house, the best way would be to deactivate your security system. The same goes for a clever computer virus. There is malware out there that can disable your antivirus software and allow free access to your computer. If this happens, or your antivirus is unable to update, then it's time to start the battle with the infection! Need somebody else to fight for you and you live in Clarence Point or Launceston? Contact your computer specialist in that area to assist.

3. Your PC Has Slowed to a Crawl

There are many reasons why your PCís performance may seem terribly slow, painfully slow, at times. First of all, check all the possibilities - Chrome is a memory hog, check it. Also, check all your hardware to make sure it's all working as it should. If all seems to be okay and your surfing is in slow motion, then that's a good indicator that you have a malware infection. Malware can run applications and services in the background that clog up your computer and can have an incredibly detrimental effect on your computerís performance. Any doubts about your ability to find the problem, call Burgos Computing Solutions. Easy!

4. Disappearing Files

The worst virus trend out there of late is ransomware. This infection encrypts all your files, putting them beyond reach. Don't ever pay. If the frustration is too much, then simply contact your computer specialist, as they know exactly what to do. This is another good reminder to back up your files anyway.

There are other forms of malware that can affect your files. These may be harder to detect, and if you live in Exeter, for example, then there is a service available to you there. Large chunks of missing files require a scan and an expert to find that virus.

5. Your Internet Connection Sucks

Australia's wonderful NBN comes with its own problems, but if you experience other unusual behaviour, it could be a viral infection. Why would a virus try to block internet access?

However, some malware changes your network settings to add a proxy and block your access to the internet to prevent downloading tools to remove the infection. If this sounds complicated, and you live in Legana or Beaconsfield, then call your local expert. He will show you how to download a tool, like Malwarebytes from an uninfected computer and then attack your virus via a USB.

Okay, thatís a wrap for this week. Next week we will look at another 5 indicators that can mean your computer is suffering its version of the flu.

If you are having problems and you are not that technically minded, then Burgos Computing Solutions is your best bet. Quick, cost-effective and he will fix the problem easily.