How to Detect Virus

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

In computer terminology, a virus is a type of malicious program specifically designed and deployed to create havoc in the targeted computer system to support the intentions of the hacker. These types of malicious codes proliferate on the Internet and are growing in numbers everyday with majority of the infections in computer systems caused by the failure of observing best security practices. To detect a virus, there are two vital issues that must be addressed. First is to know the symptoms of an infection and second is to have an anti-virus software application with real-time protection mechanism. The second allows intercepting the virus just before it initiates its infection routine. The importance of these two issues is further emphasized by the improved innovative techniques being employed by virus writers to allow them to deploy these types of threats from almost anything as simple as an image file, email attachment, videos, or seemingly harmless website among others.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- anti-virus
- firewall
- Internet connection
Step 1
Since computer viruses are programmed differently by their authors depending on their intentions, the first step to virus detection is identification. Usually, an infected machine exhibits activities which are out of the ordinary like unexplainable resetting or shutting down of the machine.
Step 2
Another possible physical manifestation is the sudden appearance of desktop shortcuts, programs, or icons which the user has not intentionally installed.
Step 3
Also, be on the lookout for files or folders which have been renamed or difficulty in executing certain applications normally associated with protecting the computer system.
Step 4
Since manual detection of virus is not only difficult but virtually impossible prior to infection, a good alternative is to install an anti-virus program from a reputable developer.
Step 5
These types of programs upon installation start together with the Operating System at every boot-up process. It also normally automatically initiates a scan of the system memory including the local storage drive for the presence of any malicious code.
Step 6
The security program also needs access to an active Internet connection in order to keep its virus database engine active and to provide updated protection for the system against older and newer threats.
Step 7
A necessary supplement to the capability of the anti-virus program is the presence of an active firewall service. Under the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System platform, a built-in Firewall Service is included and automatically activated upon completion of the Operating System’s installation.
Step 8
The firewall is responsible for intercepting threats that may arrive from the Internet or across a network environment. The anti-virus program makes sure that any threat from removable devices is addressed. These programs operate by checking on known signatures identified with specific viruses and their variants.
Step 9
Make sure that the anti-virus software is capable of checking not only locally stored files but also those residing in removable storage devices including file attachments in email messages as well.