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Last reviewed: May 30 2012

Do I Have a Virus?

Viruses can be trouble. But, with a few exceptions, they are not as damaging as they have been in the past. Luckily, virus writers seem to be less malicious than they used to be. More often than not, a modern virus is used to steal information or computer resources rather than destroy data.

With a few precautions, you can remain relatively safe while still enjoying your normal Internet activities.

You might have a virus if

If you think you might have a virus and want to double check, update and run the antivirus software on your computer. If you don't have such a program try AVG Anti-Virus Free or Microsoft Security Essentials and for other malware try MalwareBytes. Even if these programs give you a clean bill of health you could still have a virus or spyware infection. It's possible that a virus is too new to be found by this software. The most important step in running an antivirus program is updating the list of known viruses.

Other virus scanners and information can be found at McAfee's website or Symantec's website.

If you are still unsure if you have a virus or have found a virus and don't know how to handle it, call a professional to diagnose and fix any problems. It is possible to cause even more damage cleaning up a virus than the virus caused itself. Even if you get rid of the virus, you may find your system unstable. Starbeam can help you recover your data and put your computer back in working order.

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