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COMPUTER VIRUS WARNING SIGNS

by Laura Quarantiello




If you're conversant with computer code, looking at the actual strings of code in a suspect program can help spot suspicious or out of place commands. But even if you don't know your way around codes it may help to look at the contents of a data file anyway. Strange messages are commonly inserted by virus writers and can be read within the code. Look at a data file with a word processing program and search for these.

It's very helpful to know how your computer and the programs on it work. Look for unusual actions such as changes in screens and graphics and unanticipated disk activity. Keep a watch on the amount of available RAM on your system. A sudden decrease in available memory is a tip-off that something is amiss.

It's a good idea to write down or print out the file sizes of your various programs and check them occasionally to see if an increase has occurred. This can indicate a virus, although if you've added to the file since the last check this indication will be false. Know the contents of your CONGIG.SYS and AUOEXEC.BAT files and check them for any extra or inserted lines or commands.

Whether you use a personal computer or work on a company mainframe you should know the most common signs of computer virus activity. These include:

  • Applications that don't work properly.
  • Disks can't be accessed.
  • Printing doesn't work correctly.
  • Pull-down menus are distorted.
  • File size changes for no apparent reason.
  • Date of last access does not match date of last use.
  • An increase in the number of files on the system when nothing has been added
  • Uncommanded disk drive activity.
  • Unusual error messages.
  • System slows down, freezes or crashes.

If your system does become infected a total rebuild is needed. If you have your hard drive backed up you shouldn't be facing much of a problem. If you're not backed up you are going to lose valuable data.



Copyright © Tiare Publications Group.


About the Author:
Laura Quarantiello is the author of "Cyber Crime - How to Protect
Yourself From Computer Criminals" More information at
http://www.tiare.com/ .


For safe security software, visit the Software Gallery.

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