When most people have a problem with weird behavior on their computer, they immediately think that they have a virus. That is not always the case. Many times it is malware, which could consist of adware or spyware among others. A lot of these programs attack, take over your computer or hijack your internet browser, while others place agents to pull personal information or use your computer to relay spam emails. If you have ever noticed that your internet connection has become extremely slow, it could be any of these problems.
How did I get infected? I have an anti virus program.
There are many ways of getting infected. You may have received an email with a malicious attachment. You or your kids may have downloaded an infected file, such as an unauthorized music or movie file. (There are many people who place infected files out on the internet). You may even have innocently clicked on something that you thought was legitimate, but wasn’t. Some web sites that are completely legitimate are sometimes infected by the designer or content manager placing a file online – not knowing that their computer was infected. Your computer may have an anti virus program, but they will not always detect these problem files. For instance you may have updated your anti virus definitions earlier today, last week or never and a virus was created before a definition was implemented. Some people have disabled their real time scanning, and some of these programs are not viruses, just annoying adware or a hijacker that points you to ads that are similar to the keywords that you are typing. Let’s suffice it to say, that there are many ways of infecting your system.
How Do I get rid of these unwanted virus or malware programs?
The best way to prevent these problems is to be careful where you go, or what you click on. Your anti virus software should be kept up to date with current programs and definitions, and you should scan your system regularly for viruses, spyware and adware. Once your system is infected, it is harder to eradicate. The easiest way to get your system back to where it was “pre-infection” would be to perform a system restore to a point prior to you noticing anything wrong. I want to note that this will also remove any programs and windows settings you intentionally installed since the restore point. This will not always work, or may not be a good solution for you. I would suggest downloading a trial program such as Avast Home Edition – Free Antivirus . Install the anti virus and when installing be sure to choose to run a scan on startup. This allows it to find viruses that have not loaded and hide themselves in windows yet. The next step would be to download, install, update and run a scan for malware, using a program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It may be necessary to run these programs in “safe mode” where not everything is loaded into windows. Last, it may be necessary to have a professional look at your system, especially if you have a network (home or office), as you can pass the problems from one computer to another without doing anything. If you are choosing another product to remove threats, be very careful. There are fake programs that ask you to buy an AV product, but is malware, and are difficult to get rid of.
A wireless network allows computers to connect to a local area network (LAN) without cables. In order to connect there must be a wireless access point (AP) attached to a node of your LAN. The AP uses a radio frequency to connect to a wireless adapter on your computer. This adapter can be built in or added as an internal PCI card or as a USB device. By searching available wireless networks on a computer with a properly installed network card you can see the wireless access points that are within range. These access points are identified by a Service Set Identifier (SSID) which is programmed in the AP. The wireless network is either secure or not secure. A secure network uses a wireless encryption key that has to be entered into the AP as well as the adapter with the correct type of encryption. (ie. WEP / WPA). A secure network can only be accessed by a computer with this key, while a non secure network can be accessed by any wireless computer. An example of this would be WIFI access in a public location. The distance that an Access Point will reach depends on the equipment and the antenna that is attached. Some access points will accept external antennas that extend the distance. I want to mention that the frequency of wireless networks can be the same as some cordless phones and microwave ovens. This can cause some problem with the signal of the wireless computer or cordless phone. Another problem that may arise would be too many, or conflicting access points and in some cases – wireless security cameras. There is a range of radio channels that can be set on an access point and may have to be changed to avoid these conflicts.