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Symptoms of Virus Infection
by Mayur Kamat Bookmark and Share
 

In the last article, I tried to give you a brief classification of viruses according to their nature. Now we shall look into indications which may indicate viral infection. After that I have tried to give some tips for safe computing. While reading this article you may sound the tips too childish but nevertheless they can be critical. So don't overlook them and read on.

10 virus symptoms

  1. Programs take longer to load. Memory-intensive operations take a lot of time to start. 

  2. A change in dates against the filenames in the directory. When the virus modifies a file the operating system changes the date stamp. 

  3. The floppy disk or hard disk is suddenly accessed without logical reason.

  4. Increased use of disk space and growth in file size-the virus attaches itself to many files. 

  5. Abnormal write-protect errors. The virus trying to write to a protected disk.

  6. Strange characters appear in the directory listing of filenames. 

  7. Strange messages like "Type Happy Birthday Joshi" (Joshi Virus) or "Driver Memory Error" (kak.worm) appear on the screen and in documents. 

  8. Strange graphic displays such as falling letters or a bouncing ball appear on screen.  

  9. Programs may hang the computer or not work at all. 

  10. Junk characters overwrite text in document or data files.

Your guide to safe computing

Listed below are some of the steps recommended by experts to safeguard your PC from viruses. These are a compilation of my past experiences and magazine sources.

  1. Write-protect your floppy disks when using them on other computers. 

  2. Remove floppy disks from drives while booting. 

  3. Change a setting in the BIOS that enables your PC to boot from the C-drive first. 

  4. Use a good anti-virus program to scan floppy disks before copying files. Recommended ones are Norton Antivirus 2000 and Mcaffee 5. 

  5. Install software only from original write-protected disks with the publisher’s label. 

  6. Do not install pirated software, especially computer games. 

  7. Activate watch-guard programs (monitors) that look out for suspicious activity. 

  8. Use the update service offered by software vendors and update the anti-virus software every month. 

  9. Scan the entire hard disk twice a month. 

  10. Scan files downloaded from the Internet or those transferred through a network. 

  11. Prepare a rescue disk with critical system files. Preferably, it should be bootable. 

  12. Keep the original CD-ROM or diskettes containing the operating system handy.

In the next article, I will try to cover some of the most happening viruses in today's cyber world. This may caution you up a little.    

29-Jul-2001
More by :  Mayur Kamat
 
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