How to Find Computer Virus

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Computer viruses are small applications that contaminate files inside your computer and are capable of transferring from one computer to another. The purpose of the virus is to spread and corrupt a computer’s system. Infected computers start to slow down until the entire system eventually crash or malfunction. Antivirus programs are sold all over the world to fight virus infestation that has now found a way to disguise itself to infiltrate low level computer security. To find a virus, you will need to have an antivirus program.

Materials Needed:
- Internet connection
- Antivirus
Step 1
Install an antivirus program. Secure a licensed antivirus program from a reputable antivirus company. Antivirus programs are available online via downloading or offline via CD or DVD copy.
Step 2
After installing your antivirus program run an immediate update of the software. Antivirus updates are important as some antivirus employs signatures to recognize viruses. Signature is a traditional process to identify malicious files. It identifies viruses by checking the contents of a file or a program against its data base of viruses. Updating your antivirus program would also mean updating your virus database of the newly identified viruses. Nowadays, well known antivirus companies also employ heuristics to identify viruses and other malicious files. Heuristic is a process in which an antivirus program analyzes files and programs command lines to be able to identify if they are malicious and harmful.
Step 3
Another way to find a computer virus is to check manually. Go to Control Panel. Click on the Start then select Control Panel from the Start Menu.
Step 4
Select Add or Remove Programs from the Control Panel window. Check on the list of programs installed in your computer.
Step 5
Note the names of the programs you are not familiar with.
Step 6
Check the program’s name on the Internet. Research about its functions and possible effects on your system.
Step 7
If this file was indeed malicious delete it at once. If you are not sure if a file is malicious do not delete anything as it might affect your computer’s system and cause even greater damage.
Step 8
Another way to find a virus in your computer is to check the Windows Start-up folder. To go to Windows Start-up folder select My Computer. Select Drive C: from My Computer.
Step 9
Select the Documents and Settings folder in Drive C: Go to the All Users folder in the Documents and Settings. Inside the Documents and Settings click on the Start Menu folder. Check the programs inside the Start Menu folder. Identify listed programs that you do not recognize and research on them. This way you would be able to find out which files are harmful or a part of your computer’s system.