... for her silence you're all wondering aren't you? Well, I've had a virus. Strictly speaking, I haven't had one, but my computer has.
Yes, my lovely, shiny new laptop got infected. This virus is actually a browser hijacker, which, once it's in, overwrites the default search settings on the computer and sends you off to some very dodgy sites instead, so whilst it doesn't actually steal my information or anything, it can send me to sites that might. This is also a piece of malware which changes itself so that virus scanners such as AVG, which I use and Malwarebytes, which I also use (did I hear someone mention belts and braces just then?) do not detect this nasty little thing.
There are symptoms that tell you you've caught the virus though. You might notice that your default search engine is changed or you are frequently being told the site you want can't be found. I found it by accident when I noticed that a lot of sites were taking an age to load and if I looked at the bottom left hand side of my screen it said "waiting for partner18.myadvisor,com". I then googled and was not happy at what I found out.
There are several ways of getting rid of it. The first is to try running a virus scan, but that's unlikely to do any good. The next is to start changing your computer systems files, but I didn't feel confident in doing that. The fairly drastic version is to do a complete factory reset of the computer. Since mine is quite new, I wouldn't lose anything (except my time), so this is the option I went for. The final solution is to pay a man to do it for you. Downloading the current version of Windows 8.1 took an age (4.5 hours) plus about the same to do the 93 updates, so that was a whole day. Then I had to reinstall all my own programs, run scans, check everything worked OK and so on. I finished installing the final bit of sorftware this morning, and here I am again.
So that's my excuse.