I have a Windows XP Media Center Edition PC, version 5.1, Service Pack 3. My AV (Verizon's Internet Security Suite) runs clean except for periodic notifications that some programs are out of date, which I update when notified.
The PC performance seems choppy to me lately. I don't know how else to desrcribe it in a word. By choppy, I mean that the mouse sometimes jumps all the way across the screen, or frequently hangs when dragging across the screen. Frequently, when in a program, click or drag functions with the mouse result in unexepected results. In Excel, for instance, dragging a down a column to select a range of cells will move all of the cells, or begin editing a formula within one of the cells. Clicking a toolbar item in FireFox will instead drag the item along the toolbar. These kind of things.
I worry these may be indications of infection because, for computers at work (not this PC I am writing about, but my PC at work), we often give control of our screens to our helpdesk, and the mouse action becomes choppy when someone has remote control of the computer.
So I wonder if there is some program running, unknown to me, that is providing remote access to it or sending screen captures or keyboard captures in the background.
Is there a way I can tell whether what I'm seeing is just poor performance of an old PC on a now unsupported OS, or if there is something malicious going on?