Friday, November 25, 2005

Unusual computer behavior

Industry sources place the number of known viruses at more than 62,000. In light of that fact, it’s fair to assume your PC will catch one eventually. If it does and your computer doesn’t have anti-virus software protecting it, you better hope the virus announces its presence immediately through obvious displays of unusual behavior. Otherwise, how will you know it’s there?
Common examples of virus-induced behavior include peculiar graphics or messages that appear on-screen when you attempt some sort of action, such as opening a file, closing a program, or moving your on-screen pointer close to an icon (which makes it disappear or move suddenly, thanks to a virus). In addition, you may notice an increase in the number of error messages that appear without any obvious cause, audio files that play suddenly for no apparent reason, as well as pop-up messages that ask you to supply personal information, including your Social Security number or credit card number.
A virus also may be the culprit behind a haunted computer, which you may think you have if the on-screen pointer moves on its own or windows open and close by themselves. Such behavior indicates that someone has remote control of your system. That can happen if a virus or Trojan horse (program that claims to be one thing, while actually doing something else) infected your PC.

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