One of the hazards that comes with connecting a thing to the Internet is the risk of a malware infection. The simplest way to keep your system protected is to use a trusted antivirus program, but it’s equally important to know how to spot the signs of a virus on your PC. Find out how to spot the first warning signs of a malware infection on your computer below…
4 Signs of a Malware Infection:
Your PC is Suddenly Sluggish
When your computer is crippled with an infection, it can interfere with the speed at which your computer completes normal tasks, such as launching applications or saving documents.
If you are browsing the web and are suddenly bombarded with pop-ups, you should take note immediately. These pop-ups could be asking you to download a file, warning you of a threat to your PC, or even make it seem like a program is trying to help you remove malware- the catch? You’re prompted to click and download something you didn’t actually instigate. If it’s not a message from a trusted application like your own antivirus program, it is recommended that you do not click on the pop-up ad.
This goes for toolbars, as well. If you did not intentionally install a toolbar that has suddenly appeared in your web browser, be sure to uninstall it and run a quick scan with your antivirus program to ensure your PC is not under attack.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s wise to avoid clicking on mysterious pop-ups that flood your browser to help protect your PC from a malware infection.
Programs Are Acting Weird
Did the program you were using just suddenly stop working and close down? Or did a random application startup without your command? While these signs could seem like technical glitches, they can also be a subtle warning sign of a malware infection.
You’re Spamming Your Friends
Did you get a reply back from a friend asking why you sent them an email with just a link inside? If you didn’t actually send the email in question, it is quite possible that your email account was hacked. This could be a result of a malware infection on your PC, or an issue with the security of your email. Either way, it’s time to up your online security and update your passwords.
When in Doubt…
Run a scan with your antivirus program if you notice any of the above malware infection symptoms. While most antivirus programs offer real-time threat protection, your watchful eye can sometimes catch a malware threat in its tracks and help keep your PC’s security top notch.