If you're not a computer technician, the threat of a virus can be fairly unsettling. Going to the wrong websites by typing the wrong address or a convincing, but fake Google result can happen to anyone if they're not careful, and the point of some virus threats are to be hard to remove. If you're not sure if you have a virus and don't know what to do, here are a few computer security points to help.
Toolbars Are Usually Bad News
Some signs are more obvious than others, but you need to know what "normal" should look like on most computers.
No matter what browser you use, a normal browser window will not have much detail. You'll have a navigation bar that includes a back and forward button in the shape of arrows, a reload/refresh button, a home button to get to your homepage set inside the browser, and the URL bar used to type in the websites or search terms of your choice.
Around that main bar, you'll either have a bar with the name of the page and the well-known minimize, maximize, and close buttons. Below the main bar, you may have a bar that shows your bookmarks or favorite websites. These bars are all horizontal (from left to right) and shouldn't take up more than 1 or 2 inches of your screen.
If you don't know how to use a computer and have more than 2 or 3 bars, stop immediately. At best, you have advertisement toolbars from some strange system that wants to sell products to you. At worst, you have a toolbar that can keep you visiting sites with more viruses to keep your system in control.
Unless your business uses a toolbar that they've explained in their terms of service, don't dabble with toolbars. If you're absolutely sure that you need some coupon-tracking toolbar, at least ask a PC virus removal professional to check it out. There's usually a non-toolbar option to make things a lot safer.
Keyloggers And Other Information Theft
System monitoring, the great paranoia topic, is actually fairly easy to detect and remove.
Keyloggers are viruses that record keystrokes, making it easier for thieves to see what you type into username and password fields. Although these viruses are lightweight, they work by using your internet connection to send the information back to thieves. A PC virus removal technician can monitor ongoing traffic to see where the information goes if anything is happening at all.
The most important thing to realize is that viruses are files like any other computer file and can be deleted. Skilled virus removal technicians perform scans to remove viruses, but operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Apple's OSX have been around for a long time with the same general file structure. Something that shouldn't be there will stand out.
A lot of conspiracy theories exist about screen recording and screenshot sending. Is it possible? Yes. Is it hard to find? Not at all! When a hacker performs this kind of theft, the software in use is fairly hard to miss. They use a lot of resources when compared to other low-profile theft techniques, and the system will be performing more slowly.
If you need help looking for threats, bring your system to a professional to find out what's going on and get some peace of mind.