You cannot flip through the newspapers, listen to the radio or scroll through online headlines without hearing about, this organization or that business being hacked or having their computers infiltrated by a virus. Even with amazing anti-viral software, installed firewalls and constant software updates, Hackers are always changing it up, so that what is protected yesterday is vulnerable today.

So, with the constant cat and mouse game that seems to exist in the virtual world, how exactly do you know if your computer has been hacked or is experiencing a virus?

Here are some tell-tale signs:

1. Fake antivirus messages- We have all experienced it. To click onto a website and suddenly you receive the dreaded Fake Antivirus Warning Message. Once you see this message the damage has been done. Clicking “No” Or “Cancel will not stop the process, your system has been exploited. 

2. Your Computer Seems to Be Going Nowhere: The fan is on, the disk is spinning away, but nothing’s happening.

3. Waiting, waiting, waiting: It takes a very long time to open programs and perform simple tasks. Your bandwidth slows to a trickle and it seems to take forever to download pages that you know shouldn’t take a long time to load (like your home pages)

4. Ghost in the Machine: Your computer suddenly has a mind of its own and begins doing things by itself.  You have been hacked, if you experience anything such as mouse cursor moving on its own, or a program starting or closing on its own, or some text being typed on its own. You control the computer, it is not supposed to be controlling you.

5. Unwanted browser toolbars: Have you ever installed new software, and received a message during the install process asking if you would like to install a customized browser toolbar? This is normal. But what isn’t normal is when your browser suddenly appears with toolbars that you never asked for.

So how do you fix a computer that contains a virus?

There are dozens of websites, articles and YouTube videos that can help you restore your computer after it has been infected. I have included a few links below: