5 easy ways to tell if you have a virus

Here are 5 easy ways to tell if you have an infection on your computer

1. The Fake Anti-Virus

It says you’re infected with a five thousand viruses. Your C: drive is dead, your firewall is detecting intrusions, your personal data has been stolen and so on.  But it goes on to say, it can take care of all these problems and more, just a soon as you hand over your credit card information. These are the dreaded “Fake Antivirus” infections. These programs are designed to scare you into paying to remove them by displaying big messages that contain scary bits of information. The infection may or may not be removed even if you do pay. A typical fake anti-virus infection may look something like this: pc-overhaul-Internet-Security-2014   pc-overhaul-System-Care-Antivirus-virus pc-overhaul-system-protection-virus   If you don’t remember having bought and installed the antivirus product, and you’re getting an antivirus alert, odds are it’s fake.

2. Browser Changes

Malware and virus infections can make lots of different changes to your web browser. You may notice that your home page has been changed to a page you have never seen before. Malware makers sometimes force this change because they get paid for every “hit” to their page.

pc-overhaul-homepage change

Or perhaps your google or yahoo searches are now redirecting to a strange new site.


Finally, while many legitimate companies will install toolbars in your browser, such as google and yahoo, or even antivirus companies like Norton, McAfee and AVG, you may notice new toolbars under the web address bar that you didn’t install.


Unkown toolbars are a strong indication of a malwareinfection.

3. Check the status bar

Down next to the clock in the lower right corner of your screen are the icons for programs that are currently running. Many viruses, especially the fake antivirus malware mentioned above, will have a generic looking icon in the status bar.  Sometimes you will also get a warning in the form of a balloon coming from this area of the screen.   pc-overhaul-spp-tray-alert The warning claims you can fix the virus, all you have to do is use their product. If even a small percentage of users pay for the removal, they are making a lot of money, in addition to getting their hands on your credit card information. pc-overhaul-antiviruspro_geni_message Notice the scare tactics? Real antivirus will simply tell you it found an infection, and maybe offer you option on how you’d like to handle it. pc-overhaul-desktop-01 More scare tactics.   This is what real antivirus warnings look like. They tell you the infected file(s) and ask you what to do with them. No scary details about what will happen to your computer of your files. pc-overhaul-970435_115642661975796_211627727_n pc-overhaul-xzmsH pc-overhaul-warn2   Looking at the icon in the system tray may help you identify a virus infection.

4. Missing Desktop Icons

Your desktop full of all your important icons and folders…

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Is suddenly completely blank.

pc-overhaul-5-30-2013 9-31-01 PM

It’s rare that a virus actually wiped out your data. Most of the time if your icons, files and folders on the desktop are “missing”, and the start menu does not come up, it’s from a virus infection. Often times these viruses (ransomware) will demand payment in order to “fix’ the problem. Rest assured your files can be recovered without passing your credit card info or your money to these thieves.

5. Pop-ups Galore


If your computer screen is filled with pop-ups that don’t seem to ever go away, then you have a virus infection. These infections aren’t as harmful as others, but they are sure annoying and they slow your computer down.

I have a virus infection, so now what do I do?

Don’t panic.  Removing a virus infection can be tricky depending on your skill level when it comes to running software and changing some system settings on your computer. Even when the virus itself has been removed, there are often other issues like programs not opening correctly, missing drivers, corrupt Windows Operating System files, no internet connection, and other issues. I strongly recommend contacting me to have your virus professionally removed. If you insist on trying to remove it yourself, then the easiest to use tool out there is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Download and install the program, update the definitions, and run a full scan. If that doesn’t solve your problem, turn to a professional.

More details on the Windows 8.1 update

The update is scheduled for release on June 28, and includes a start button (although not a start MENU), Internet Explorer 11, the ability to boot directly to desktop or an all app screen & more. Check out all the details:


Here’s a great free Android phone management utility for your PC

If you have an Android phone, AirDroid is a great free utility that can make managing your phone from your computer much easier, and all without a USB cable.

AirDroid Screenshot

With this great little app, you can transfer files of any type (photos, videos, music, ringtones) on and off your Android phone. Use your phone, camera andanage and backup the apps on your phone. You can also send SMS messages right through your web browser using your full sized computer keyboard.

If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use AirDroid to help find it, or remotely do a secure wipe of all the data on the phone.

Not bad for the low, low price of FREE!




FBi Virus

The FBI virus is a type of ransomware. There are several different versions of this virus, which claim that the FBI and the Federal government have taken control of the computer because it has been linked to illegal activity, and demand payment to remove the virus.


FBI MoneypakThis ransomware diplays a very large alert with the FBI and Moneypak logos.It may also diaply your webcam and accuses you of a host of crimes: viewing/distributing pornographic or copyrighted content, spreading malware or doing other illegal activities. This ransomware demands a payment via a Moneypak code on the right side of the fake alert. This system will be locked down completely if you are infected with this virus.

FBI Green Dot Moneypak VirusThis version of the FBI ransomware locks the whole system down and displays a fake alert with FBI, Moneypak and McAfee logos. A message similar to the first version claims that Federal Bureau of Investigation has blocked you for downloading illegal/copyrighted material and similar crimes. Users are asked to pay a $200 fine to remove this malware, and are given instructions on how to proceed with payment.

FBI Virus Black Screen: This malware variant of the FBI virus, which has a black screen, uses the same technique as its predecessors and demands users pay a $200 fine. This version also adds a new feature: an audio warning. It will similarly claim that you have been caught violating the law and will accuse you of visiting adult/pornographic websites, viewing files containing zoophilia, child pornography and other similar cyber crimes.

FBI Online Agent: This is the latest ransomware, which uses the name of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It uses a newly-designed alert, which tends to accuse victim for committing various crimes and asks to pay $200 using MoneyPak. The new thing about FBI Online Agent is that it doesn’t show your IP address or location but gives the name of the responsible agent, case number and other details that are clearly invented. Besides, scammers have included the promotion of the terrorism into the list of the crimes that are reported into this misleading warning.


FBI virus norwood ma

The newer version now looks like this:

fbi virus dedham sharon canton needham westwood dover ma


Please note that the claims made by this virus on the fake FBI page are not real. You are not in trouble with the FBI. Paying the fine using Ukash vouchers and Moneypak cards will not fix this malware. Using an activation number to remove the FBI virus will not remove the virus either, but will only lead to further virus infections.


If you need help removing this from your computer, contact me today!