Viruses & Other Malware

Malware is a category of software programs that get installed on a computer system and perform unwanted tasks. They include anything from viruses to annoying pop-up ads. Some send your browsing information to advertisers without your knowledge.  

Signs you may have malware

Nowadays, viruses are created mostly for stealing information rather than destroying it. If your computer has malware, it may do the following:

  • Become unexpectedly slow
  • Take longer to load applications
  • Get stuck on applications
  • Shut down unexpectedly
  • Display error messages continuously
  • Display a lot of ads while you browse the internet
  • Not open your task manager or activity manager
  • Not allow programs to uninstall
  • Keep opening and closing your Floppy/CD/DVD/Blue-ray drive when you are not using it

If you get a computer virus

If you suspect malware lurking on your computer,

  1. Stop activities that involve usernames, passwords and other sensitive information
  2. Disconnect your computer from the network
  3. Install anti-virus software
  4. Make sure that the antivirus software is up-to-date
  5. Once you confirm the antivirus software is updated, scan your system
  6. Delete everything the program identifies as a problem
  7. If the problem still persists, try out other antivirus software and scan your system. (This is because of variations in virus definitions, some viruses might have slipped past the first program)
  8. If the malware program still persists, contact the UIT Support Center at 713-743-1411, or support@uh.edu for more help.

How you prevent a virus

  • Use an internet firewall (Most operating systems come with built-in firewalls; enable them at all times)
  • Never open an email attachment that arrives from someone you don’t know
  • Install anti-virus software on your system and keep it up-to-date
  • Scan all email attachments-or files-that you download from the internet before you open them
  • Scan flash drives, CD/ DVD disks, and other storage media if they originate from other sources