How to Tell If Your Computer Has a Worm

By Heather Vecchioni

Worms are just as dangerous to computers as viruses.
i computer image by blaine stiger from

In the garden, worms are extremely helpful; however, in your computer, worms are only good for one thing -- damage. Worms are just as dangerous as viruses, according to the website TopBits. Worms reproduce, work independently and travel across network connections. Worms replicate very quickly and in great volume and can even clog networks. While worms can cause some very nasty problems in your computer, it is not always easy to tell if you have a worm.

Note any emails you receive that have peculiar attachments, states Microsoft. Worms often enter computers through email attachments. If you receive attachments that have dialogue boxes or notice your computer acts different upon opening the attachment, you likely have worm.

Ask your email contacts if they have received emails from you that contained files you did not send. These files could have the extensions .exe, .vbs, .scr and .bat. If so, your computer probably has a worm.

Monitor your free space. If a file is infected with a worm, it might make copies of itself to the point in which it takes up all the free space on the hard disk, states Microsoft.

Pay attention to the speed of your computer. You may have a worm if the computer has slowed down quite a bit, states the website TopBits.

Note any programs that have stopped working, as worms will often cause critical programs to no longer work. In addition, worms can also destroy crucial files on your computer.

Use anti-virus software to scan your computer. Some programs will detect the presence of worms.


Never open email from an unknown sender, as worms are often spread in this manner.

Use a firewall and update your operating system to prevent worms.