Your computer can become infected by malware if you:
- visit a website that attacks your computer
- use a USB drive infected by malware
- open an email attachment containing a virus
- are tricked into opening an infected file
- haven't been installing updates (patches) regularly
- aren't running anti-virus software.
Your anti-virus program will notify you if it has detected or blocked malware or if your computer has been infected. But if your computer starts behaving strangely it may have been infected by malware. Common symptoms include:
- pop-up web browser windows appearing frequently
- ending up at different websites to the ones that you wanted
- new toolbars being added unexpectedly to your web browser
- new icons appearing unexpectedly on your task tray
- the default search engine in your browser changing suddenly
- your home page changing suddenly
- certain keys, such as the tab, stop working in your browser
- random Windows error messages appearing on your screen
- your computer suddenly taking much longer to do regular tasks such as saving files, opening programs, starting up or shutting down.
Sophos anti-virus software is installed on most University of Otago computers. To confirm whether your computer has anti-virus software installed contact your departmental IT support staff.