How to tell if your computer has a virus
Malware or viruses can cause havoc once on your computer. They can disable antivirus protection software, leaving you wide open for hackers to enter your computer at any time through a backdoor that the infected file created. They can interfere with how the computer functions, by corrupting windows operating system files. Ransomware type infections even have the power to encrypt the user’s data, making it nearly impossible to recover or decrypt those files. This could be all your precious holiday photos, school coarse work, music, videos or documents. This can be a huge security risk with cyber-criminals having access to sensitive information of yours, like banking details, credit card fraud or any other passwords you may use. You could even find your identity being cloned from the information they steal.
So what can you do to protect yourself and computer from these viruses? You can start off by installing an antivirus or internet security suite, if you install a free antivirus, you will need to install firewall software. It’s also a good idea to install real time scanning software, like Malwarebytes Pro. The most important thing to do is practice and use safe computing habits. User error and not being web smart is the biggest cause of computer getting infected with viruses or malware. New viruses and malware are being created as you read this article, these are not always detected by any antivirus software you use today, until it is added to the virus definitions database. These fresh malware can slip onto the system and go straight past all your program defenses you have installed on that PC. So if you’re not web smart and you accidentally download a dodgy file that contains a virus or you click on an infected email attachment, your computer system will get infected with any of these, Trojan, Rootkit, Worm, Backdoor, Junkware or Malware. It’s so important to think before you click and keep your antivirus software up to date.
- So how can you tell that your computer is infected with a malicious virus?
- Here is some tell-tale signs that could indicate that your computer has been infected or compromised by malicious virus or software:
- Your antivirus software has been disabled. Some malware has the ability to disable or deactivate your antivirus or internet security suite. With your antivirus not running, the virus definition database cannot be updated, this is a huge security risk to your computer, the malware can go about its work undetected, steal destroying data or stealing personal information. There is many types of malware, some are destructive and others are out to try and scam you or hold you to ransom. At this stage you might try to install a new free antivirus program. This is where you can run into more trouble, malware can block any download, especially security software that removes viruses and malware, and this is another tell-tale sign that your computer has been compromised by viruses or malware. Once these malicious viruses are installed on to the computer system, they can change registry permissions stopping you installing any malware removal program or antivirus program. The list of dirty tricks used is endless and are ever evolving into new and more powerful spyware, malware, junkware and viruses.
- Malware program notifies you that you’re infected with a virus. It’s so important today to run an antivirus program, anti-malware program and firewall. This will give you the best possible chance of detecting malware, spyware or viruses. Running one antivirus program does not give you’re the protection you need. A firewall is a powerful security program that controls what comes in and out of your computer via the internet. So having the three programs is a great start to layered security on your computer system. If you are a more advanced PC user, you don’t have to stop there, you can use other more advanced tools and software to keep your system safe, but these are not easy to use and take a more professional approach to computer security.
- Your computer is running sluggish and slow. If your computer is sluggish and is running very slow or more so than usual, this could be a sign that your computer system is infected with malware, but this is not always the case. Here are some tell-tale signs, if your computer is idle and you’re not running any programs, you may see high CPU usage for an unknown program in task manager. You may see a lot of system resources being used by an unknown process and it’s using high memory usage, this could be sign of a virus. Your hard drive activity could be getting maxed out or getting full. These are just some of the signs that your computer system is infected with viruses. Just having one virus on the system can dramatically slow your computer system down. Having a rootkit on the computer can even slow the boot-up times or lengthen shutdown times and even cause it to hang for long periods.
- Browser redirects or browser won’t open. Browser problems are a key sign your computers security has been breached. When you try and search for a topic on google search, you may find that what you search for does not appear, instead you get redirected to advertisement sites that you never searched for. Your browser might not even open and it keeps crashing, large amounts of toolbars have appeared. Fake programs claiming your system is infected or you have registry errors and by purchasing there software can fix or repair the computer problem it’s displaying. You may have Internet connected but browser not working, pop-up ads, rogue software. All of these are signs of malware infection on your computer.
- Your computer keeps crashing or is stuck in reboot loop. Rootkit or virus can cause the operating system to become unstable or even make changes to the master boot record (MBR) this can make your computer repeatedly crash and restart, sometimes getting caught in a reboot loop. Your system can suffer a blue screen, it’s also known as blue screen of death (BSOD). These are typical signs of computer infection, the virus gets on to the system and starts to do its work, making the computer unstable or even unusable at times due to the computer freezing, crashing or it stops responding. So if your computer is behaving erratically or just not being its self, then you could be a victim of malware. One last thing is the rise of ransomware, these can stop the computer dead in its tracks and cyber criminal’s try and scam people out of money by holding the computer to ransom. They have the ability to encrypt user data and then demand a ransom to release your data and sending you a decryption key. Never pay these ransoms.
To sum up, these are just some of the ways to detect if your computer is infected with a virus, these are just some symptoms use can use to identify virus activity on your computer. Dealing with your viruses sooner rather than later is the key to protecting your data and preventing identity theft, leaving your computer system compromised with malware is a huge security risk to online banking, credit card fraud or even going as far as someone cloning your identity. Don’t be a victim and protect your computer system against viruses and intrusions by using the right software for the job.
Free Antivirus Software:
- Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, Baidu, Comodo, immunet, Forticlient, These are just a small selection of free antivirus software, I will add more soon.
- Malwarebytes Pro, Hitmanpro, Emsisoft These are just a small selection of free antivirus software, I will add more soon.
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