How to detect and protect your computer from a virus

Computers infected with a virus or malware can act strangely and may pose a serious security risk to your business.  Whilst some viruses may slow down your computer and cause application crashes and computer freezes modern malware may be working silently in the background capturing your credit card details, passwords and personal information. Here we provide tips on how to check for a virus as well as how to protect against a cyber attack.

Computer virus check

  • Run a full scan with your antivirus software. Make sure that you have the latest version of the software installed and that the virus definitions are up to date.
  • Check for any unusual behaviour on your computer. For example, if your computer is running slowly, or if programs are crashing frequently, this could be a sign of a virus.
  • Check for any suspicious files or programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager and look for unusual processes and programmes using a lot of resources.
  • If you’re curious about whether a specific program is malicious, right-click it in the Task Manager and select “Search Online” to find more information.
  • Check your network connection, if you see any suspicious activity or unknown IP address connected to your network, it may be a sign of a virus.
  • Use an online virus scanner, for example, ESET, Bitdefender or Malwarebytes which can scan your computer for viruses without installing any software.

It’s important to keep in mind that these steps are not guaranteed solutions and that there may be other ways that a virus can infect your computer. If you suspect that your computer has a virus it’s best to seek professional help.  Going forward we recommend taking a proactive approach and protecting yourself against a malicious attack.

Tips to safeguard your computer from viruses

  • Install strong professional level anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
  • Enable the pre-installed firewall on your PC or Mac.
  • Use strong passwords that are complex and unique and avoid using the same username and password combinations across different sites.
  • Never click on, download or open anything until you have verified it is from a reliable source.
  • Avoid clicking on links and manually enter them into the address bar to avoid DNS cache poisoning.
  • Beware of phishing scams that encourage you to enter personal information or click on an infected link. Legitimate companies will have their own domain so if an email address claims to be from eBay or PayPal and ends with, it is a scam.
  • When buying new devices do your research and avoid cheap deals with trial software and inadequate security.

If you would like any advice on virus removal and IT security please contact us on 01603 451810.