Malware (short for malicious software) is an umbrella term that encompasses many different types of malicious code including:
- Key loggers
- And more
These are the types of programs you don’t want installed and running on your computer. Yes you may have security software on your system but no system is 100% foolproof.
The longer that malware sits on your system unchecked, the more damage it can do. Most forms of malware have a directive built in to spread to as many systems as possible. So, if not caught and removed right away, one computer could end up infecting all computers on your network.
Early detection is the key, this way you can disconnect an infected device from your network as soon as possible and then you and have it properly cleaned by a professional.
Approximately 34% of businesses take a week or longer to regain access to their data and systems once hit with a malware attack.
Keep an eye out for the following warning signs of infection so you can help stop it and reduce your risk.
2) Unusual Speed Issues
Computers can slow down for a number of reasons, including having too many programs open or running a CPU-intensive program, but you will typically know your computer and the types of things that slow it down.
If you notice new sluggish behaviour that is out of the ordinary, this could be a sign of an infection. One example would be if you only have one or no programs open and you experience slow response from your computer.
When malware is running in the background, it can often eat up system resources and cause your system to “go slow”. If you are concerned get your computer checked out by a professional.
2) Strange Popups Appearing
Some malware disguise themselves as an legitimate program such as an antivirus application. So they design popups mimicking things that users may have seen from a genuine program, this way they will be more apt to click things without thinking.
If you begin to see a strange “renew your antivirus” alert or a “your computer is infected” message that doesn’t quite make sense, these could be signs that your PC has been infected with adware or another type of malware.
3) Your Browser Is Redirected
If, when trying to go to certain websites you get redirected elsewhere, have your PC scanned for malware right away. Redirecting a webpages is a common sign of certain types of malware.
The malware will infect your system and change various system setting (eg your browsers home page). This may lead you to a phishing site or another webpage filled with ads.
Just changing your homepage back in your settings is only a a temporary fix as the underlying malware is still around.
4) Sudden Reboots and Applications Crash
A trait of certain types of malware is to make your system reboot without warning. This happens as malware may change or corrupts system files behind the scenes. With files changed or corrupted, your system then becomes unstable and reboot unexpectedly.
Similarly applications may randomly crash. Both these issues can cause you to lose the things you have just done and makes it difficult to get work done.
5) Missing Hard Drive Space
If you find that your hard driving is filling up without your knowledge, it could be malware taking up your space. Some types of malware may make copies of files or introduce new files into your system.
6) Corrupted Files
If you cannot open multiple files due to corruption, your system may be compromised.
While files can occasionally become corrupt for other reasons, ransomware deliberately encrypts files which can look like they are corrupted.
7) Unusual Sounds From the Computer
Most of us are familiar with those “normal” sounds when our computer is doing things that are resource intensive (eg the systems fan may spin up and run faster).
If you begin hearing these sounds when you are not doing anything particularly intense on your computer, this is another sign that malware is running and your computer should be checked by a professional.
GET EXPERT MALWARE SCANNING & REMOVAL
There are free online malware and virus tools online. These websites though are not reliable, want payment to fix the problems or are scams (saying you have problem when you don’t). Instead, contact an IT professional to ensure your entire system is cleaned properly.