5 Red Flags That Indicate Your Computer is Infected With Malware
One of the worst things that can happen to your computer is becoming infected with a virus or other type of malware. Malware is just a name for different types of malicious code that can infect your PC.
Malware is an umbrella term that includes several different forms of attacks that you may see mentioned online:
The main difference between them is that they are focused on doing different types of damage to your system. Damage that you might not be able to undo, causing you to have to call for computer help from a professional.
For example, ransomware will make files unreadable, one by one, and quickly spread to infect every file. The attacker then sends a message that pops up on the screen asking for money to fix the files.
Trojans are an attack that masquerades as something legitimate, like a popup asking you to update your antivirus subscription. When you click on it, a more dangerous type of malware can infect your system.
All types of malware are dangerous and you don’t want to have any of them inside your computer. They can cause your PC to act up, applications to crash, files to be deleted, and your personal information to be stolen and used for identity theft.
One other thing that all types of malware have in common is that they spread fast to as many files and devices as they can. They can do this through your Wi-Fi connection. Meaning they can travel from your computer through your Wi-Fi network to another device (like your tablet or smartphone).
It’s important to get help right away when you see any indication that your computer might be infected with malware. Otherwise, the damage can get worse, and you might end up losing your files, photos, and videos forever.
The longer you wait to have the malware removed, the worse it can get and the further it can spread to other computers and mobile devices in your home.
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When should you seek help?
Here are some of the red flags that can indicate a computer has a malware infection.
Your Computer Suddenly Slows Down & It Stays Slow
If your computer freezes up because you have 20 web pages open and then gets fast again when you close them, this isn’t necessarily malware. It could just be that you need more system memory installed.
But, if your computer suddenly slows down when you don’t have a lot of pages open and it continues to be slower than normal, this can be malware.
Malware can use up your computer resources, causing your system to freeze and become very slow to respond.
Your Browser Home Page Has Been Changed
One key sign that your computer has been infected with malware is if your browser home page has changed.
Everyone has a certain page that opens automatically when they open their web browser (Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, etc.). If you see a different page than normal when you open your browser, get your PC checked right away. This is a common indicator of a malware infection.
You See a New Antivirus Popup, But You Didn’t Install Any New Antivirus
I touched on trojans earlier. This is a type of malware that pretends to be something legitimate and hides more dangerous malware.
One common trojan will look like an antivirus alert message on your computer. It might ask you to update your subscription or risk losing protection. If you see this type of popup and haven’t seen it before, do not click on it!
Instead, call me to have it checked out. I can easily log in remotely to tell you whether it is legitimate or whether it’s a malware infection.
Your Computer Reboots Suddenly
Computers should not reboot unless you tell them to, or when you’ve installed an update that is telling you to reboot to finish the installation.
If your computer reboots when you’re in the middle of browsing the web or working on a file, this could be malware and should be checked out.
Even if it’s not malware, unexpected reboots are a sign of a serious system problem that needs to be diagnosed and corrected.
You Can’t Open Files Because Your Program Says They’re Corrupted
If you try to open a Word document that you use all the time but get a warning that the file is corrupted and can’t be opened, this could possibly be a sign of ransomware, one of the most dangerous types of malware.
Ransomware will corrupt files and can also hide them, basically making it so you can’t open or access them anymore.
Any problems with corrupt or missing files should be checked out right away.
Get Help Properly Protecting Your Computer from Malware
Come to CompuTara for help with anti-malware protection for your computer to reduce your risk of infection. You don’t even have to drop off your device! I can help you through remote login.
Schedule a PC security session today! Call or text me at: 862-368-4893 or Email me here.
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