store time
10AM - 6PM
Need help?
Chооѕing a Laptop – Windоwѕ Laptop Or Macintosh Pоwеrbооk

One minute, everything seems fine, and the next, your computer is back to speeds you haven’t seen since 1995 dial-up.

Or maybe you’re browsing the interwebs and find yourself drowning in pop-ups, even though you totally have ad-blocker installed.

Or, you’ve been hearing your laptop make suspicious noises, even when it’s closed and not in use as if the ghost of a long-dead IT tech is trying to work through some new paranormal code.

If you are noticing something weird with your computer, it may not be time travel, or plug-in issue, or even a ghostly computer whiz.

It might just be malware.

Now, no need to panic. Most viruses and malware can be removed with a quick visit to your local computer repair shop or an in-home visit from a tech (hopefully not a ghost).

But before you call, you should know what computer virus symptoms your computer is exhibiting, what the most likely cause is, and what potential damage it could do to your computer.

So let’s take a looks at the signs of a computer virus and what you can do about it.

Defining a Virus

We’re going to be using a few different words in this article, so let’s break them down a little.

First things first, malware. This guy is pretty easy. the suffix “-ware" indicates that it has to do with a computer (software, hardware, shareware), and the prefix “mal-" means bad.

So, bad computer stuff.

Malware is any malicious computer software. It’s the umbrella terms that covers adware, spyware, and viruses.

So remember, all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses. See? Those high school logic problems came in handy after all.

virus acts like a parasite. Once it’s inside a computer, it replicates itself and the copies infect other pieces of software. This can be especially dangerous on shared systems.

Adware is software that produces ads. It isn’t always malicious, but it can get out of control

Spyware helps computer hackers gather information about other users, allowing them to steal data.

Worms are destroyers of data. They replicate and eat information on your hard drive, eventually destroying everything.

Trojans, like the Greek myth that gives them their name, look like normal, happy programs. But, they’re designed to steal personal information.

Ransomware literally holds your computer system hostage until you pay a fee.

Viruses and malware are very prevalent. The motivations behind their creation vary, but hackers are still cranking them out like crazy.

And to be fair, international law enforcement is getting a LOT better at catching and cracking down on these types of criminals. But, like the Hydra of old, it seems that no matter how many heads you cut off, there is always at least two more waiting to take its place. So it’s best to be vigilant.

So, now that we’ve given you the common types of malware, let’s look at how to spot them.

Everything Slows Waaaaay Down

We live in the future. There’s no excuse for a slow computer anymore. I mean, think about it. We get twitchy when the Wi-Fi at Starbucks take a few seconds to load a page.

If a virus gets a hold of your computer, you could be looking at slowdowns that look practically pre-millennium.

Your computer only has so much processing power. Even a great computer will reach its limits over time, and your computer can’t tell the difference between a good program and a bad one. So when malware, regardless of type, starts working in the background, it begins using up your computer’s processing power.

The more malware and viruses are present, the slower the computer will run. This is because it’s dedicating its time to the malware running in the background.

Computers can slow down over time anyway, and it may not always be a virus. If you aren’t sure, try this:

1. Get Rid of Things You Never Use

We all have things sitting on the hard drives that we never use. Get rid of old programs that are just dead weight. Also, transfer photos and files to cloud storage or a physical hard drive

2. Take a Look at Your Start-up Settings

All computers have a few programs that run automatically at startup. If you have too many, it can slow your computer down.

3. Find Your Performance Tool

Most new computers have a performance tool that will help you see where your computer isn’t running at optimal performance. They’ll also give you suggestions to fix the problem.

A lot of the time, those three simple steps will solve your problem. If not, take it in to see a specialist.

Ads, Ads Everywhere

If you’re seeing pop-ups and ads all of a sudden, even getting past your ad blocker, you could have an adware problem.

The thing about adware is that it isn’t malicious in general. It’s just annoying.

So it’s less the bully in the office than it is that overeager guy at the water cooler who wants to show you his rock collection. He’s harmless, but he definitely slows down your day.

And that’s what adware does. Its purpose is to advertise, to get you to buy a product. But when it starts getting overzealous, it slows your computer down by running way too many ads, all the time, all at once.

Your Stuff is Going Missing

Where’s all your stuff? Didn’t you have pictures of Jason’s wedding? And like, a screenplay from tenth grade you were totally going to finish?

I mean, you might have, but if they’re gone now, a worm may have gotten them.

Like a worm eating away at apples in the fall, computer worms wriggle their way into your hard drive and start devouring everything in sight, from documents to pictures to vital files.

This might be one of the scariest computer virus symptoms, because there may not be a way to get that information back. Sometimes a good tech can recover data, but not always. And if the worm gets deep enough, you might have to scrap the entire computer and start over.

This is your friendly reminder to always, always, always back up your data.

Even if it’s just to a flash drive, at least it’s in a safe place. You can also use cloud services or an external hard drive. That way, even if a worm does get to your original files, you have copies and not all is lost.

Headed to the Wrong Website

So you’re headed over to Pinterest, follow a pin, and see your destination site for a minute. Then, it switches over to something you were NOT looking for. Maybe one of those sites that declares you’re the millionth visitor and have won fabulous prizes, or maybe something more insidious.

Either way, it’s weird, right?

Some types of malware will force-connect you to websites you aren’t seeking out. It then communicates information back and forth with those sites. Usually, that information contains small bits of code that continue to infect your computer.

This is very common. If you’ve ever opened a suspicious spam email, downloaded something without meaning to, or even visited specific websites on purpose, you may have exposed your computer to this kind of virus.

They aren’t usually too hard to get rid of, but make sure you get your computer to a professional soon, before any more damage can get done.

Phantom Activity

So you’re hearing your computer make a noise like its running, or you notice high network usage even when you aren’t using your computer.

A virus might be busy at work, sending information back and forth from its source across your network lines.

Think of it as credit card fraud.

You notice a weird charge here and there, and before you know it, your bank account is drained. This is sort of the same way. A little network activity when you aren’t using the computer, and soon the whole system is infected.

It’s vital to make sure you take your computer in before it gets that bad.

It’s common for folks to see something small and just chalk it up to normal computer hijinks. After all, if you don’t have an in-depth knowledge of computers, you may have no way of knowing that this small discrepancy could end up destroying your hard drive in the long run.

Messages from No One

These are becoming much more popular because of social media.

Your followers or email contacts will get a message from you, usually with a weird attachment or link to follow. If they follow it, the virus gains access to their computer, their accounts, and their contacts. Then it starts the whole process over again.

This goes on and on, infecting computer after computer until the machines take over and we all bow to our new computer overlords.

Prevent the apocalypse, people.

Chances are, the first you hear of this will be a friend texting or calling to tell you they got a weird message from you. Most people under the age of 35 can recognize these bogus posts and ignore them. But your 85-year-old grandmother who only joined “The Facebook" to see pictures of her grandchildren may not know she shouldn’t open or click.

Change your logins immediately, then send out a message to your contacts warning them not to open any weird messages from you.

Left to its own devices, a virus like this can take control of your social media accounts, giving another person access. They’ll have the ability to lock you out of your own account and do all kinds of things using your name.

Change your passwords often and don’t use the same ones across all platforms.

Everything Looks…Different

You may not see anything overtly wrong in the way your computer is functioning, but suddenly things just look a little…off. Files moved around, random files appear you don’t recognize, or a setting changed here or there.

You might chalk it up to you not being observant enough. But you see your computer every day. If something looks off, it likely is.

First things first, if you see a file you don’t recognize, don’t open it. Honestly, this should go without saying, but we are humans, and cats have nothing on us when it comes to curiosity.

Even an unopened file could cause harm to your computer. But opening the file will never make the situation better. A quick call to a professional can often tell you if its something to worry about.

No More Security

So now you’re freaked out, so you buy anti-virus software (good call, by the way).

But when you try to install it, you can’t.

Or, you already have anti-virus software (good call, by the way), but can’t open or access it.

Some clever little piece of malware has likely gotten past your protective barriers and attacked them from the inside. This prevents them from working properly and you from accessing them.

As computers and anti-virus software gets smarter, so do the people making viruses.

Think of it as a regular disease. Humans find ways to kill off certain germs, so the germs mutate, getting stronger and more resistant to the medicines. So humans make the medicines better, and the cycle goes on and on.

It’s the same with computer viruses and malware.

Programmers for anti-virus programs make the best program they can. Virus programmers find a way around the program. Anti-virus makers up their game and the cycle goes on and on.

So, if you’re anti-virus is suddenly acting wonky, take it as a sign that something is definitely up.

Have Computer Virus Symptoms?

So you have computer virus symptoms and you’re freaking out because of OMGMYDATA.

It’s a valid concern. We get it.

Your best course of action here is to turn the computer off and make an appointment with a professional. They have the training and education necessary to identify the problem and the best solution.

Need help with a problem now? Get in touch with us today!

Please follow and like us:

Google Reviews

Community Computer Services
Based on 42 reviews
powered by Google
OriMaster 261
OriMaster 261
18:27 08 Jan 20
Very nice and helpful people, love the store atmosphere, and fair prices.... Overall a very pleasant experience!read more
Tracy cook
Tracy cook
00:29 03 Jan 20
So far, it hasn't been that great. I took a laptop in almost 2 weeks ago and... haven't heard back from them. When I went in to drop it off, it was like they were getting ready to go out of business. The young guy who took my laptop said he would call me and hasn't yet. I know that we have had 2 weeks of holidays, but other businesses are open again. He made sure he got my $45 first though. I'm surprised by all of this, because I've gotten great service when the father was there. In this guy's response, he says that he can't get a hold of me. What he fails to mention is that he wrote my number down wrong and didn't check his caller ID from when I called last Monday or when I left a message the week before. I left a message last week and he never called me back then either. When he did finally found my number, he chewed me out for everything. He never confirmed anything about the computer, yet acts like he did. So my number is not out of service, but I will not be a customer of theirs more
23:48 22 Oct 19
I went with a problem on my tablet and that is not something they are very... comfortable with but for computers that are used you should check it outread more
Carol Lyle
Carol Lyle
16:43 13 May 19
Am new to the area having problems with tower computer at the time. Was... advised to seek a locally owned business doing computer repair. I did and chose Community Computer Services in Alexandria, Ky. 41001. Did diagnostics as I was thinking problem with hard drive. Wasn't which was great price wise. Was able to clear out all viruses and malware. Saved my pictures and other personal folders and reloaded to computer. Also installed free virus and malware programs. Runs fast!! Also they gave me a week to use to see if incurred any problems. I did not!!! While taking care of tower computer explained how slow my laptop was. So brought it in. Was going to do diagnostics see what problem was. He told me it would be like a new computer. Advised me to use chrome. He saved my files and reloaded them so where I didn't lose anything. Also downloaded the free virus protection and malware. The laptop is brand new to me. It is fantastic!!!! So fast it has to wait on me. I would recommend anyone having computer problems to see Community Computer Services immediately. Very reasonable, courteous and explained things to me where I could understand. Excellent more
Sara housypart
Sara housypart
18:44 03 Apr 19
We took our mac into their store. It was running terrible. They were able to... make it run like it was new. I was surprised on how affordable it was. We will be going there from now on for all of our computer more
Steven Noble
Steven Noble
21:07 01 Apr 19
They did a great job fixing our laptops. We will be using them from now on.
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
23:45 31 Mar 19
We have used Community Computer Services for many years now. They do a great... job! The pricing is great as well. If you need a laptop or desktop repaired in Northern Kentucky, then these are your more
Piles Chevrolet
Piles Chevrolet
15:36 20 Feb 19
This is a great place to have your computer or laptop repaired. They are fast,... honest and stand behind their work. I wouldn't go any place else. I recommend everyone to use this company. They give you pricing right up front. D. Hensleyread more
Joe Geiman
Joe Geiman
03:30 25 Aug 18
Always had a great experience dealing with these guys. My computer is running... faster than it ever has after being repaired there. Would recommend them to more
Penelope Kolb
Penelope Kolb
15:03 22 Aug 18
Community Computer Services provides a great services at affordable prices.... Over the past 5 years I have had to replace lap top hardware and treat viruses. Every time the knowledgeable team at Community Computer Services has provided fast diagnostics with a menu of solutions for me to choose from. I highly recommend keeping your technology out of a landfill and going strong with the support of Community Computer more
B Bailey
B Bailey
01:20 22 Aug 18
I have received great service from these guys on more than one occasion. The... prices are excellent as well. They have taken very good care of me over the years. Thanks!read more
Daryl Mullins
Daryl Mullins
04:08 28 Jul 18
My computer quit working just as my wife was in the middle of using it for... Vacation Bible School last night. She was panicking. I began to look online and saw Community Computers near where I live. I checked the reviews and it had a great rating. I called this morning and explained my situation. I was told to bring my laptop in and he would see what he could do. When I took it in I also shared with him another issue I had been experiencing, my wireless connection was not working . He said he would really try to find out the issue so we would have it for Bible School. About 2 1/2 hours later he called to give the good news that the problem was just a bad cord. When picking it up he also told me he gave it a good checking over and tried to repair my non wireless connection for over an hour. He then told me instead of trying to go into the laptop to change a chip which could be costly, he sent me to Staples for a solution of a $30.00 wireless adapter. I was very impressed with my experience Community Computers. I would encourage anyone who has computer issues to check them out. You will not be disappointed. Also, the price I paid was very more
See All Reviews