If there is one thing no computer user ever wants to find out, it’s that their device has a virus. A device with a virus will not operate correctly, and it can even be dangerous to your privacy. But what exactly is a virus, and what does it do to your computer? How can you even tell if you have one? Even if you’ve never had a virus before, it’s important to know the answers to these questions. Understanding the danger of viruses is important for anybody who uses a computer or any kind of device. If you’re wondering “Does my computer have a virus?”, then here’s what you need to know to find the answer.

What is a computer virus?

As its name might suggest, a computer virus is a malicious program that moves from host to host, causing trouble wherever it goes. While real viruses can make people sick, computer viruses can effectively make computers “sick” by altering their programs. They can add their own code to your device and corrupt or even destroy the data that already exists. Every year, computer viruses lead to billions of dollars’ worth of damages.

Where do computer viruses come from?

Computer viruses are as old as home computers themselves; the first one was developed in 1971, the same year the microprocessor—the tiny chip that made portable computers possible—was invented. The earliest viruses tended to be written by computer programmers, either to test their theories or as practical jokes. Today, viruses are often created and spread by unscrupulous parties who are trying to steal individuals’ personal information for the purposes of identity theft. Other viruses exist to sabotage businesses. Still others are the work of malicious pranksters.

What do computer viruses do?

Some computer viruses are relatively benign, but all of them—by definition—are unwanted. The worst viruses can erase data from your computer, steal your passwords, record what you are typing on your keyboard, or send junk email to your contacts. They can even prevent you from using your device at all. Thus, if you suspect that you might have a virus on your computer, then you should have it checked out by a computer technician right away.

What are the warning signs that you have a computer virus?

“Does my computer have a virus?” is one of the most commonly heard questions at computer stores. While most people cannot diagnose their own computer issues, there are ways to tell whether or not you are likely to have a virus on your device. Viruses manifest themselves in a number of ways. If you see a window pop up with a strange message, it is likely a virus. A message that tells you your data has been stolen is a common type of virus called ransomware. If you see that emails are being sent in your name or from your account that you did not send, then a virus could be the culprit. Other warning signs include an unusually slow computer, frequent crashes, or your homepage mysteriously changing.

What should I do if I think my computer has a virus?

If you believe that your computer may have malware, then do not try to remove it yourself. If you do this, it’s entirely possible that you won’t fix the problem and that you may inadvertently make it worse. Instead, it’s time to visit a computer store in your area. Simply bring in your device and ask the staff, “Does my computer have a virus?” An experienced computer technician will be able to examine your device and determine the source of the problem. Then, they can remove the malware from your system and make sure that it is safe for you to use.

How can I protect my computer from viruses in the future?

You can reduce your risk of getting viruses by being careful about what email attachments you open, and staying away from websites that are not secure. However, the best way to protect your device from malware is to install high-quality security software. This will help to prevent viruses from infecting your system. So, what if you aren’t sure which software to use? After all, there are plenty of programs available. Your best bet is to ask the staff at the computer store that repairs your computer to recommend the best security software for your device. They will be able to tell you what the most effective programs are for protecting your security.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your device, then the team at Smart Parts PC can help. Our computer store offers dependable repair and troubleshooting services to the Tucson and Marana communities. Whatever your technological needs might be, our team of skilled technicians is here to meet them. So, are you ready to begin? You don’t have to wait another day to reach out to get the services you need—call us today at (520) 468-2320.