There could be any number of reasons that your computer isn’t working as well as it used to. It could be getting older, it could be a glitch, or it could be a malware. If you are concerned about malware, then here are five telltale signs your computer has been infected by malware.
1)Popups Start Appearing
While adware isn’t as common as it used to be, it does still exist, and it again bombards users with popups and ads. These ads may be for legitimate products and are sent out by affiliates, or they could be links to malicious websites. Either way, they’re no good, and you don’t need them on your computer.
2)Your Browser is Redirected
Not every site redirect is a sign of trouble, but being redirected to an unfamiliar search engine when trying to reach Google, for example, is a sign of a severe problem. Pay close attention as the redirect might not be so obvious. You may be sent to a fraudulent banking website that looks just like the real thing. The only clue you aren’t where you want to be in the URL, and not many people think to check that. These attacks are often powered by malicious browser extensions, so check your extensions and keep a particular eye out for extensions you don’t remember deliberately installing.
3)You Get Warnings From Unknown Apps
Creating fake antivirus alerts is a surprisingly lucrative business choice. The people behind these attacks use malicious techniques to place phony antivirus programs on your computer. Those programs issue warnings about fake threats that scare you into paying for a solution. The problem is that the fake antivirus is the problem. Only use trusted antivirus programs and double-check any warning that you aren’t sure about.
4)Your Social Media Gets Weird
There’s a ton of malware designed to spread fake posts on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Those posts generally include some kind of inflammatory statement that pushes other users to click a link and continue to spread the virus.
5)You Receive a Ransom Demand
There’s a particular brand of malware called ransomware. Ransomware literally holds your computer to ransom. They encrypt the files on your computer and demand payment in return for your files being restored. Some are more obtuse in their work and pretend to be a warning from a legitimate law enforcement agency such as the FBI. The message states that you were accessing content you shouldn’t – such as pornography – and demands that you pay a “fine” in order to reaccess your computer. Of course, paying the ransom is no guarantee that your computer will work again. You’re better off running an anti-ransomware program – which is often cheaper.
What to Do If You Have Malware on Your Computer
If you believe your computer has become infected by malware, then the first step is to install antivirus programs. If you’ve already got one, then the malware has apparently slipped past it. Make sure your current program is up to date and then perform another scan, or try using a different anti-malware solution such as Malwarebytes. What matters is that you clear out the virus because you don’t need it making things worse.