How do you know if your PC is infected with a computer virus or not? While no one intentionally tries to get a virus, if your a avid PC user you will at some point encounter some form of malware in your internet browsing career. Malware can infect your system in many ways, whether it be from an Ad you may have clicked on or an infected email you may have opened, or it can be from a free download of some sort. In the past most malware was easier to spot. But as malware becomes more sophisticated and stealthy, it is getting harder to detect. the trick is knowing what the symptoms are.
Here are a few symptoms that might help you become more aware of possible malware.
Are you getting unwanted pop-up ads? For the most part pop-ads appear to be a thing of the past, you can thank the browser developers. Most modern browsers nowadays include robust popup blockers, so you shouldn't be experiencing pop-ups anymore if your browser is up to date. If you’re getting a lot of pop-ups while you’re surfing the web, it’s most likely a poorly-configured browser. Adjust your settings and that should fix the issue. What you should really worry about is if you’re getting pop-ups while your browser isn’t open. If that’s the case, chances are that you have a virus on your system. Some of the most common ones are ads that display something like “Virus Alert! your computer might be infected with a virus,” or some other bogus alarming message and then offer up free software to fix it. What ever you do, Do Not click or agree to anything this window is offering you. By accepting their offer, you’ll only be downloading more malware.
Are your contacts getting spam email from you? The main mission of computer viruses is to spread and infect as many machines as possible, and often the way they do this is by hijacking your email or social media accounts and sending malware infected messages to your contacts. If your friends or contacts are getting weird or phishy messages from you, then you know you've been hacked. You need to have your computer cleaned and make sure you change your account passwords.
Is your computer running slow, crashing or freezing? While there're a number of reasons that a system is running slow or freezing, this can be a sign that your PC is infected with malware. If your computer was running smoothly one day, and suddenly became slow and unresponsive then there’s a chance that malicious software is to blame. Viruses often run tasks that take up a lot of resources or they may disable certain functions that can make your system run slower than usual. Try opening up Task Manager to see what’s running. If an unrecognized task is using up 100% of your CPU usage, then you know what the issue is.
While we have covered just a few of the symptoms you may be encountering, there many more which we will cover in future articles. Remember the best way to keep your PC malware free is to scan your PC regularly with a good antivirus program. And by all means please keep your antivirus program activated and up to date. Also don't forget to keep your operating system up to date as well.