FAQ - Is My Computer Infected?
How do I know my computer is infected?
General Symptoms of an infected computer included:
• The machine is slower than normal
• Random failures and things happening when they shouldn't (e.g. some new viruses put group policy restrictions on your machine to prevent task manager or other diagnostic programs from running).
• Task manager shows a high CPU when you think your machine should be idle (e.g. <5%)
• Adverts popping up at random
• Virus warnings popping up and you're encouraged to pay for this program to clean the viruses
• Internet pages redirected or blocked to sites filled with adverts, or fake sites promoting bogus antivirus or helpful removal tools, or are blocked altogether
• Increased startup time, when you have not been installing any applications (or patches)
• Your computer usually doesn't perform in the manner it is now
What risks of having an infected computer?
If your computer isn't fortified against the most recent viruses, you leave your system wide open making your computer vulnerable to identity thieves and hackers.
What can I do to protect myself?
Install antivirus software on your computer and run daily updates. The campus provides free antivirus for staff and faculty work computers, and recommends free antivirus software for student and home computers.
How do I know if I have antivirus software on my computer?
Open the notification area in the tray on the bottom of the page. If you are running Forefront on your Windows computer you will see a green icon with an arrow. For security essentials look for a castle. The icon color represents the status of your computer. Green indicates protected, yellow indicates your computer is potentially unprotected and read indicates you at risk. A computer with a properly installed antivirus software will generally prompt you to update the program every once and a while. If your computer doesn't ask you to update virus definitions, you may not have virus software properly installed.
How do I get rid of the malware or virus?
Depending upon whether you have malware on your computer or a virus dictates the steps you need to take to remove the unwanted software. Make sure your infected system remains disconnected from the internet while it is infected. This will prevent it from being able to download new editions of viruses or other unwanted software. If you are connecting the infected hard drive to a clean system in order to scan it, make sure that you update the virus definitions for all the products that you will be using to scan the infected drive. Some unwanted software is very good at avoiding scanners and detection. It is possible that once your computer is infected it can install rootkits or similar to stay invisible. Just one virus or malware on the system may be able to download and install all the latest editions of the unwanted software again. It these cases it is best to reinstall the operating system from scratch.
Who can I contact for help?
If you would like additional information or would like assistance, please visit the Online Technical Support Center at www.bsu.edu/helpdesk or call the Technology HelpDesk at 765-285-1517.