As a computer user, you're well aware that computers can be temperamental at times. It will be working fine one minute and then suddenly slow down, glitch, sputter or crash, and then be working fine again a few minutes later.
In most cases, this comes down to a momentary hiccup in the software, which is why rebooting a computer fixes so many problems. It could also be another software or hardware problem you can fix yourself, if you know what to do. However, it might go deeper.
Your computer woes could be the result of a nasty virus. How can you tell? Here are five of the most common symptoms of computer viruses. If your computer shows one or more of these, you're probably infected.
1. Pop-up ads
Running into a pop-up ad while you're surfing used to be a serious annoyance, but modern browsers include pop-up protection to keep these annoyances away on most sties. If you're still seeing regular pop-ups on more than one site, it could just be a badly-configured browser.
However, if pop-ups are coming at you when your browser isn't even open, it's likely you have a virus. This is especially true if the pop-ups advertise some magic cure-all to your "virus woes"
If you are bombarded with pop-up ads, first run a scan with anti-spyware software to double-check. I like SpyBot Search & Destroy because it digs deep into your settings to find any problems spyware has left behind.