Be Aware of 11 Symptoms of Malware on Your PC
In our age of IT development, it isn’t easy to imagine a person’s daily life without the internet, a computer, and other gadgets that significantly make life easier by making payments fast, information storage compact, and communication virtual.
But in fact, not everything is so smooth. With the development of useful programs, malicious computer viruses also appear.
Learn more about malware types here.
Malicious infection of your PC can lead to severe problems. For example, suppose you notice a sharp deterioration in the computer’s performance, the appearance of annoying ads, or a malfunction in the file system. In that case, your PC may have become a victim of malware infection.
How can you recognize a threat and respond quickly to symptoms of malware? We’ll tell you in this article.
11 Symptoms of malware
#1 Slow start of programs on the PC
If suddenly the programs used on the PC began to run much slower, then it is worth suspecting the appearance of a malicious virus. Such computer behavior not only irritates users but also entails a lot of negative consequences. Therefore, it is initially necessary to find out the reason for such behavior.
Slow operation of your PC can lead to:
- Lack of RAM, for example, if running applications use it up. To check which programs consume a lot of resources, you can use the combination “Ctrl+Alt+Delete,” then select the “Task Manager” and open the current processes.
- The free space on your computer’s disk has run out. Therefore, be sure to check this indicator and clear the disk of everything superfluous.
- If the PC starts to work slower when visiting sites on the internet, then in this case, you need to check your browser settings and clean up the data.
- The level of fragmentation of the file system negatively affects the performance of the computer.
If you have checked all these indicators and have not found errors, your PC may be already infected with malware. So, it is time to check with the help of special antivirus programs or scanners.
#2 Annoying ads have appeared on your PC
This is the main sign of malware infection. These are special spyware programs that collect and steal computer users’ data without their knowledge. Such messages that appear suddenly on the user’s screen often carry a real threat, and it is not easy to get rid of them. So instead, use special programs and applications to detect and remove spyware.
For preventive purposes, to protect your computer from spyware, we recommend not to click on random pop-up messages when opening websites on the internet. Please do not open suspicious emails that come to your mailbox, and of course, do not download programs from unverified resources to your PC.
#3 The appearance of the “blue screen of death” (BSOD) when launching applications on your PC
Such an error can be caused by two reasons: technical compatibility problems of software or hardware components or infection of your PC. In the first case, you need to look for errors in the OS. In the second, you need to use an antivirus program. If such errors occur frequently, the performance of your system is significantly impaired, then think about whether it’s time to do a “clean OS installation.”
#4 Notification “Insufficient disk space (C:)”
If you start receiving such messages, you need to check why the disk space usage has increased. In addition, you may need to delete all unnecessary files/programs that reduce the PC’s speed.
Please note that some malware fills up the free space on the C drive to harm the operation of your computer.
#5 Increased bandwidth consumption
Sometimes there may be high network activity even when the computer user is not working in a web browser, and data is not being downloaded/uploaded to the servers. If you suddenly find this situation, you should check a few essential points:
- Availability of Windows OS updates.
- Whether any application is currently downloading data.
- Whether any program is now being updated on your computer.
- Whether a previously started download (that you forgot about) may still be active.
If all the items are checked, and nothing is found, you need to run an antivirus program to scan your PC. We also recommend using special programs to monitor the Network and detect threats, for example: GlassWire, Little Snitch, or Wireshark.
#6 The appearance of your web browser’s home page has suddenly changed
For example, there are inexplicable pictures of an advertising nature, flashing intrusive messages, etc. This is already a sign that the computer is infected with malware.
In this case, you should immediately scan your PC for viruses and, in no case, click on pop-ups in your browser, as you can further aggravate the situation.
The list of secure browsers to use immediately for private surfing.
#7 Strange behavior of your PC
This can be manifest in completely different ways. The reason for it can be both technical problems and viruses. For example, programs close without your actions. The system restarts for no reason, strange windows pop up, and so on.
What should be done in this case? Initially, update the OS, use an antivirus scanner, and consider completely reinstalling your OS in case of continued errors.
#8 If you have antivirus enabled, but you receive notifications that it is disabled
Such an error often occurs. Some viruses have learned to disable such programs. Therefore, look for a more effective solution. For example, a new antivirus may be able to defeat the malware.
#9 Your friends in the social networks receive messages from you that you haven’t sent
Most often, such messages are infected with viruses or are sent with the purpose of deception from your pages. In this case, it is very clear what’s happened. Therefore, on your PC, you must immediately log out of all accounts and change passwords. You can also additionally configure two-factor authentication.
Learn more about 2FA protection here.
#10 Strange icons that you haven’t added before have appeared on your PC
These may be unwanted programs that damage the performance of the PC and generally disrupt its operation. To remove them, you should use special software, for example: Malwarebytes, Ultra Adware Killer, or UnHackMe.
#11 Access to the “Control Panel” and “Parameters” is closed
If you can’t get into these sections, then your OS is broken. Therefore, we recommend scanning your computer for viruses and fixing the problems as soon as possible.
How to prevent viruses from entering your PC
The only way to absolutely avoid infecting a computer is to abandon the internet completely. This is a working method that will protect you from all cyber dangers at once.
If you decide to leave the internet, then here is an instruction on how to do that.
Well, for those who still want to stay on the World Wide Web and at the same time feel safe, we suggest using the unique, decentralized Utopia P2P ecosystem.
Surely, many have already heard about all its advantages more than once. And many of you have already tested it on your PC.
For all those who are still struggling with online threats and cyber threats, it is worth looking into Utopia and testing it for at least 30 minutes. It will definitely replace popular messengers, browsers, emails, etc.
Read more about Utopia P2P here.
Such a stringent attitude towards all the problems that can arise in your PC’s operation may seem paranoid to some users. But there’s nothing wrong with that. The higher the security of your PC, the better the preservation and confidentiality of the stored data.
In some cases, it is better to make additional backups of your information to remote storage, for example special backup services.