Jun 25

Is your computer system acting weird? Have you noticed files where there didn’t used to be files, or had files suddenly disappear? Does your system seem like it is running slower than normal, or you notice that the hard drive seems to keep on cranking away even when you aren’t doing anything on the computer? Does your system freeze up or crash all of a sudden?

All of these are potential signs that your computer system might be infected with some sort of malware. If you have suspicions that your computer may be infected, you should run a manual scan using your antivirus software. First, make sure that your software has the most up-to-date virus information available from your antivirus software vendor, and then initiate the manual scan.

If the manual scan detects and removes the problem, you’re all set. But what if it doesn’t? What should you do if your antivirus software detects a threat, but is unable to remove it? Or what if your antivirus software says your computer is clean, but you still suspect it’s infected? You can dig a little deeper to make sure.

Antivirus and security software vendors often create stand-alone tools that are available for free to help detect and remove some of the more insidious threats. Microsoft, which has recently entered the arena of providing antivirus and other security software products, also offers a Malicious Software Removal Tool which they update monthly to detect and remove some of the more pervasive and tenacious malware threats.

Some malware is written to disable or remove antivirus and other security software in order to prevent the ability to detect or remove it. If your computer system is infected by one of these threats, your antivirus software may be useless.

You can try to find a stand-alone tool like those mentioned earlier, but an alternative is to scan your system with a different antivirus software. Of course, you probably don’t have extra antivirus programs on standby that you can just install on a whim.Thankfully,Trend Micro provides a free Web-based scan called HouseCall. If all else fails, you should be able to get your system cleaned up using this service.