A computer virus or spyware is a program that infects your computer. They are harmful to you because they can delete files on your computer, access personal information (like credit card numbers and passwords), and allow others to access your computer over the Internet. Viruses and spyware are harmful to the network because they aggressively attempt to infect other computers, and can cause very slow network speeds for all users.
- Your hard drive or memory mysteriously run out of free space
- Your computer is running slower than normal, and takes a long time to start up
- Strange dialog boxes appear on your computer
- Your virus scanner is disabled and cannot be restarted, or won’t run at all
- New icons appear on your desktop
- Windows won’t start because certain critical files are missing
- Your computer stops responding before the desktop icons or taskbar appear
- Windows spontaneously restarts unexpectedly
- You cannot start Windows Task Manager
- Antivirus software indicates that a virus is present
Keep your operating system up-to-date
As flaws are discovered in your operating system, the manufacturer will distribute patches, or critical updates that help keep you protected. For more information, see Windows Updates or Apple Updates.
Use your scanner
A scanner will find infected files and (in most cases) will remove viruses from your computer. It is important to regularly update your virus scanner’s definitions so your virus scanner knows how to spot the latest viruses. See McAfee Virus Scan or Norton for instructions.
We have instructions available for the following virus scanners:
If you don’t have a scanner, you will need to get one. ResTek recommends that you either buy one or use one of the many various free options available on the internet. Some of the popular choices are Avira, Avast!, and AVG Free.
If your scanner is not removing the virus or spyware, or the they reappears when you restart your computer, here are some additional things you can try: