Virus: A computer virus, is like a flu virus, is designed to spread from host to host and can replicate itself. Similarly, in the same way that flu viruses cannot reproduce without a host cell, computer viruses cannot reproduce and spread without programming such as a file or document.

In more technical terms, a computer virus is a type of malicious code or program written to alter the way a computer operates and is designed to spread from one computer to another.

A virus has the potential to cause unexpected or damaging effects, such as harming the system software by corrupting or destroying data.

This is applicable both at home and in the office:

What are the signs of a computer virus?

A few computer virus symptoms are:

•    Computer and/or internet suddenly slower

•    Computer behaves weird

•    PC freezes and crashes a lot

•    Unusual error messages appear

•    Files have been automatically deleted or added

•    Unwanted advertisements appear

•    Emails have been sent from your account to your contacts (which you know you didn't send)

•    Sudden hardware problems (e.g., display acting weird)

•    Antivirus software and/or its shields are turned off automatically

•    PC automatically restarts (reboots) by itself

How to help protect against computer viruses?

How can you help protect your devices against computer viruses? Here are some of the things you can do to help keep your computer safe.

•    Keep your operating system and software always up to date

•    Use a firewall

•    Use antivirus software

•    Don't ignore security warnings from Windows or your antivirus software

•    Don't install and use pirated software

•    If you don't use Java, then remove or disable it

•    Don't click on OK, Yes or Run when a pop-up window appears and ask you to install unknown software. Here's one example: “Your windows computer could be at risk! Install this repair tool to protect and clean your system by clicking Secure Now as soon as possible” Don't fall for this trick!

•     Don't Fall For This Trick

•    Before you want to install free software (freeware) first check if its reliable by reading reviews about it

•    Always download software from the official link or from a trusted website

•    Don't click on a link (in emails or web pages) if you don't trust it.

•    Use a secure and safe web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and keep it updated

•    When installing software, always pay attention and always read the fine print clearly before clicking Next, OK, Install, Continue, etc.

How to remove computer viruses

•    Contact the GETS Service Desk at 877–GTA–3233 (877-482-3233)

The BEST protection against computer viruses is YOU.