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Do I have a virus?

Why do you think you may have one or more viruses? Or are you a victim of spyware?

Your computer may be running sluggishly or it may be behaving erratically, bringing back some unexpected results. You may have programs running, popping up messages or some of your files are missing or corrupted for no reason that you can explain.

Although some of these symptoms may be software bloat or just simple cross software/hardware incompatibilities or plain old hardware fatigue, it may also be a virus. If you don't already have anti-virus software running on your computer, get something installed right now!

A free 30 day trial of the anti-virus software we recommend, Nod32 can be downloaded here. The free anti-virus, AntiVir can be downloaded here, or AVG can be downloaded here.

Click for help with installing software.

Sometimes you may find that you won't be able to successfully download from the internet, so we would suggest that you duck in to the local newsagency and look for the computer magazine section. On the cover disk of one of the latest local magazines you should find that there will be a copy of an antivirus program listed - look for Nod 32, or AntiVir or AVG - so that you can install from the disk and scan your computer as soon as possible.

Follow the directions given as a result of the scan. Reboot (restart) the computer and run the scans again. Continue this process until there are no more virus problems found.

If the computer is running great, then count yourself lucky, and ensure that you keep your virus definitions up to date and schedule regular scans to keep everything in running order. Now that your immediate problem has been addressed please look into the anti-virus solutions available and choose something that suits you for the long term, whether it be a paid solution or free.

If your PC is still not up to scratch, you could also be the victim of spyware. See Spyware Installing the three free anti-spyware programs recommended (you may also find them on the magazine disk if you ran out and purchased one) will also give great protection as long as you do the definition updates and run frequent scans.

If your PC won't start up at all, or doesn't complete the boot sequence, then you may need to seek professional help. The cause may be a virus, but could also be due to a number of other possibilities.

Most important!
To be effective, any software installed to combat against spyware and viruses must be updated on a regular basis.

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