If you suspect your computer may be compromised with a virus, we’d strongly recommend disconnecting your system from the internet (either unplug the network cable if it’s hard-wired or turn off the wireless on the device). After it has been disconnected, run a complete system scan with your anti-virus program. Once you are confident the system is back to normal, re-connect it to the internet and commence regular use.
It’s always good practice to repeatedly reboot and run a complete scan until doing so results in no results found. This helps to remove dormant files on the device.
If the system is still exhibiting strange behaviour, we’d recommend you bring it in to have it professionally examined and cleaned. In severe cases it may be necessary to backup your important data and re-install the operating system and relevant software on the machine.
If you are getting messages that data has been encrypted on your computer, what’s known as a ransomware virus, shut down the system immediately and bring it in to a professional to have the hard disk examined and data recovery attempted.
Some common indications that your computer may be infected are:
- Random websites popping up on your screen without your input
- Cursor moving/clicking without your input
- Programs opening without your input
- People receiving erroneous email messages from your email account
- Files suddenly not being accessible due to encryption
- Slow/sluggish response to general computer tasks
- Random programs being installed without your input
Beware of scam artists calling you saying they are from Microsoft or another reputable company and claiming they have been ‘alerted’ to a virus infection on your computer. These are cons that will attempt to get you to give them access to your computer and extort money from you to solve an issue that doesn’t exist or one they themselves create once they have access.