Sunday, November 20, 2005

Identify the culprit

Once you recognize the symptoms of a virus, you should begin to take action immediately in order to mitigate the damage. The longer the virus remains on your system, the greater the harm it can inflict. Jumping on the solution right away may mean the difference between recovering a handful of infected files and reconstructing the contents of an entire hard drive.
The first thing you should do is access one of the web’s free virus-scanning services. These services, which include Symantec Security Check8 and Trend Micro’s House-Call9, scan a PC’s drives for the presence of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other examples of code gone badly. The services identify infections but may not remove them from your system. Write down the full name of any virus that the scanning service detects.
The entire process of accessing the service, downloading the scanning applet, and waiting while the service scans your PC may take from 10 to 30 minutes (or more). The length varies depending on the speed of your Internet connection, the type of computer you have, and how much storage space the service needs to review. You should consider using these scanning services regularly (we suggest once per week) if you don’t have anti-virus software installed on your system. Such services will help you identify viruses with undetectable symptoms.

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