If your PC seems to be running smoothly, there’s no way you have a virus, right? Wrong! While computer repair experts typically only see customers looking for virus removal when their computer appears to be having issues, not all malware will cause this type of evidence of its presence. Often, the viruses are designed to keep your computer running smoothly. Much in the same way that a parasite which kills its host quickly will then lose its source of food and protection, a virus which kills the computer it is infecting loses the potential to gather more data or execute other nefarious tasks.

Most people have heard of DDOS attacks. A DDOS, or Distributed Denial of Service is a type of cyber attack which attempts to take down or compromise a website by overwhelming it with a barrage of requests. This is usually accomplished through the use of what is known as a botnet. A botnet is a group of computers that has been infected secretly by a piece of malicious software. This could have happened through a file on the internet, executing an untrustworthy program, or even through flaws in your browser security. Once your computer is part of a botnet, the owner of the botnet can then use all of the infected computers to carry out attacks. These networks of “zombie” computers will secretly be performing tasks unknown to their owners, such as sending requests to websites.

Botnets can be massive, with millions of infected machines. But while you may not know that your computer is infected, the virus is not harmless to you. While it is using your computers resources, it will be taking your computing power and internet away from other applications. This could cause it to run more slowly or accumulate more heat, leading to a shorter lifespan of its components. Additionally, there is always the very real possibility that the virus could steal your personal information, passwords, or even business related data.

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So when you can, check your computer for viruses. While there are antivirus programs that can remove some malware, other more sophisticated malware can remain hidden. That’s why it can be incredibly useful to employ a specialist. Virus removal experts are technicians who will be able to protect your data, and prevent someone from stealing your computing power for illegal purposes. Protecting your own information is always the most important thing, but extending the life of your computer is a nice bonus.