With our constant connectivity and data exchange, it’s pretty common for PCs to be infected with malware these days. Malware threats are growing more dangerous by the day and are often able to bypass various security mechanisms. So, the first few questions that come to mind are “How do I know if my PC is infected with malware?” and “Are there specific signs I need to keep an eye out for?”
Well, yes. Your PC will instantly start behaving suspiciously when infected with malware. Very few malware programs are completely invisible, and they start giving away their presence as the common signs of infection begin to manifest.
It’s vital that individuals and businesses alike have a clear understanding of how malware attacks, how it behaves, and what to do about it before it completely takes over. It can corrupt or steal your files, and soon enough you’ll start getting warning messages (fake or otherwise), and even experience blue screen – the dreaded “Screen of Death.”
In today’s article, we’re going to look at 5 signs your PC is infected with malware. This should give you a good idea of what to look for so you can react quickly to save your files.
5 Signs of Malware Infection
There are more than 5 signs of malware infection, but these examples will give you a foundation for cybersecurity readiness.
Slow Performance of Your PC
A sudden change in how your PC functions is a sign you must not ignore. When your PC is suffering from a malware infestation, its performance drops drastically as its internal components become hampered by the virus. It’s the first sign that something’s not right, and an infected PC is one of the many reasons that could have slowed your machine down and temporarily reduced its processing power.
Malware in action occupies a substantial amount of disk space in your computer’s memory. This explains why important programs on your PC, such as the operating system or browser, work at snail-speed. It can also burn through battery life because of this. The overloaded system cannot function properly, affecting the computer’s performance and your ability to use programs and apps effectively. Ultimately, this kills productivity.
If you already have a trusted and reliable malware removal tool installed on your PC, it is advisable to run a quick scan to diagnose the malware infection. If discovered, the scanner on your antivirus software will disinfect, quarantine, or delete the foreign element in your PC. Make sure to select an https://www.yourtechmasters.com/the-five-best-malware-removal-tools/ with a robust security suite that boasts a range of features. Some examples include Norton, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Malwarebytes, and Avast.
If your PC is noisier or hotter than usual, it is a sign of caution. When your PC is infected with malware, its delicate electronic components must work overtime to keep it running smoothly. A noisy PC means the fans are overworking themselves to keep the internal temperature of your PC cool enough.
The same thing happens even with smartphones when the internal system gets overheated. But as smartphones aren’t equipped with fans, you only receive a system-generated notification that your device is overheated. In computers, overheating can also be caused by heavy usage of your applications. It’s always safe to run a quick scan using an antivirus program and any additional security software to check for any malware infection or ask your IT professional to look it over. Cyber safety should be a top priority for every business owner.
Internet trouble is one of the most common signs of malware infection. So if you’re having issues with your usual homepage changing to another browser, homepage or extension that you’ve never come across before – it is definitely a warning sign. Unfortunately, we often end up accidentally installing these browser extensions by ourselves without realizing they could be potential malware.
The whole purpose of browser hijacking is to redirect users to a specific website to increase the hits the site receives. The easiest way to deal with browser hijacking is to uninstall the browser extension from your device. You can then run a quick antivirus scan to check for any remaining malware on the PC. Another important thing you need to do is update your browser – a modern, updated browser is adept enough to handle such threats from invading your PC again.
If any of your contacts have received random emails from your email account that you aren’t aware of, it’s because your PC is infected. Hackers usually send malicious software in the form of links to downloadables as email attachments and mark them as ‘important’ emails. Once the receiver opens these emails, the malware is automatically installed on their PC.
Nowadays, it’s easier to recognize these emails, but modern-day hackers smartly create appealing emails which users fall for. Therefore, it’s advisable to be extra careful with all unknown emails, any strange email address, or suspicious emails of all kinds.
And if you do end up falling prey to such emails, it’s best to quickly run a scan or work with your It department to check for any suspicious malware and malicious software on your PC. Online privacy, online safety, and security within all email and communications is vital to your business.
Adware is a type of malware that can hide infected applications and vulnerabilities within browsers. After this, they bombard users with incessant ads. While these pop-ups are annoying, they also come bundled with malware threats. More than these ads and pop-ups, though, these malware threats are most harmful to your PC. The easiest way to get rid of these pesky ads is to download an adblocker, which instantly detects and gets rid of these ads as you browse through the web.
We’ve listed the top 5 signs you need to watch out for when using your PC. These signs are indications that your PC may have been infected by malware. Of course, an infected PC can display some other signs of malware infection as well – so if you notice anything unusual or suspicious, it’s probably because of a malware infection. Security software is a must. A trusted, reliable and efficient malware removal tool can help you deal with different types of malware infections.
Be aware of problems with your mobile device which can often be overlooked, along with unexplainable slowed internet connections, as this may be a sign of trouble. Monitor your company’s internet traffic. Consider a pop-up blocker. Look out for error messages, suspicious pop-ups, pop-up advertisements, random pop-ups, suspicious files, mass emails, suspicious links within emails or web pages, suspicious looking software update messages, and any other unknown or suspicious activity, software programs, and random messages.
Also, it’s important to always partner with your IT department or your outsourced IT service provider when it comes to system security so you can find lasting peace of mind. They have the training, knowledge, tools, and ability to keep your computers clean and running smoothly. And when disaster does strike, they’ll be able to address the problem and have you back on your feet in no time.
They’ll dig deep to detect any lingering malicious code, security holes in your network, any lesser-known forms of malware, and other unknown programs and offer security tips, implement new security apps and security features and make recommendations for further security solutions.
Make sure you perform security checks on a regular basis. Purchase and use only verified apps from the app store which have been certified and rated. Take all device security measures you can to protect your digital ecosystem. Verify that all emails are safe and that you and your staff are using legitimate programs. Also, stay aware of your online activity and the networks you use for browsing. It’s a great idea to use a virtual private network when you can to further protect your data.
Tech Masters helps small business owners increase their productivity and protect their most important assets with individually tailored IT packages, the latest technologies, and years of on the ground IT experience. Contact us today to learn more and to claim your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about protecting yourself from malware, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What types of devices does malware target?
Malware can infect PCs, smartphones, laptops and even tablets. They also affect different operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. As a result, different types of comprehensive malware removal tools effectively combat security threats on different operating systems and devices.
How do I remove malware?
If your computer is acting weird? If so, there’s a possibility that it has been infected with some type of malware. Backing up important files is the first step you need to take in case of a malware infection.
Next, run an antivirus scan to help detect, block and remove malware on your PC. After the first scan, restart your PC. After this, you can quickly run another antivirus scan to check if any malware remains on your PC.
Once you’re done, update your operating system, browsers, and other applications. Meanwhile, also reset your passwords (every password you can think of) to secure yourself from potential hacking activities. All of this will help you remove the malware from your PC.
How do malware attacks occur?
Almost always, malware infects your PC or devices when you click a link or install a program bundled with malware. It can also enter your PC through external hardware such as pen drives.
While initially, the virus was the only form of malware, over time, many new types of malware exist, such as ransomware, spyware and even adware. When they enter your PC, each of these comes with consequences of their own, varying from slowing down your PC’s performance to snooping on your browsing history or stealing confidential data. Without IT support and an excellent antivirus software program which provides ample malware protection, your risks increase substantially.
What are examples of malware?
One of the most common types of malware is computer viruses, and they typically require a host program to enter your PC. Ransomware is another recent and common malware which infects PCs and steals confidential files so that the thief can demand a ransom from the user. Then we have spyware, a type of malware that snoops on your browsing history and other confidential information. Then there’s adware, an annoying malware that keeps interrupting your browsing activities with unwanted pop-ups. These are some examples of malware.
Where is malware most commonly placed?
Malware is often masked in malicious email attachments. Your PC can be infected with malware when you open these unknown email attachments. Malware is also sent in the form of links in emails. It is commonly placed in software downloads, traffic redirects, online ads, and via infected websites.
The security hazards come in torrent downloads, infected documents, public Wi-Fi hotspots, pop-up ads, social network posts on social media accounts, and other files. You’ll also find them in hacking tools/websites, infected USBs and strange extensions on your PC.
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