How Can You Spot Malware On Your Computer?
Malware is one of those really annoying things that affects us all. If you ever use a computer, you will probably come up against malware at some time or another. The increasing number of internet users worldwide creates a huge opportunity for cyber criminals to take advantage of the hyper-connected world and steal information (or just cause chaos) from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, there are solutions out there to protect us against malware, but new strains are being developed every day and it’s impossible to catch it all. The most important thing is to know the signs and get rid of malware before it causes damage. So how can you tell if your computer is infected with malware?
Your Computer Is Slow
There are a lot of things that can make a computer run slowly, from lack of hard drive space to simple old age. But the most common thing to slow down any computer is a malware infection. This is usually because malware tends to be quite big, or in the case of worms, is eating away at your data and storage space over time. If you notice a sudden decrease in your computers performance with no obvious cause, check your systems for malware.
Messages Are Being Displayed
While most malware is fairly subtle, hiding away from sight, some malware is very open about its presence. The most obvious form of malware is ransomware, which makes a point of telling you that you have been infected and demanding money from you. Adware and spyware are also fairly obvious, as these will pop up irritating adverts on your screen all the time. If you start seeing obvious signs of infection, you should check your anti-virus and run a scan to check for malware. If this is reporting back as clean but you are still convinced you have malware (which can happen, as some types of malware replace or turn off your anti-virus), talk to a professional.
Your Settings Have Suddenly Changed
If you open up your browser one day and your home page is different, or you go to a website and are redirected somewhere else, you may have malware. There are certain types of malware, like browser hijackers or rogue security software, whose job it is to tamper with the settings on your machine. They do this either to redirect you to websites that will generate them revenue (and usually infect your system with more malware) or interfere with your anti-virus settings and clear the road for a different, more sinister type of malware like a Trojan or a keylogger.
If you are noticing your computer crash a lot more than usual, displaying the blue screen or spinning beach ball of death, it could be 1 of 2 things. Either you are dealing with a technical issue caused by incompatibility between your hardware and some software you are running, or you have malware. If you are using a new piece of software or something you just downloaded, check that it is actually compatible with what you’re using. But if everything is normal, it’s time to check for malware. When your computer is on, check your anti-virus scan results, and search online to see if there are any new viruses that cause system crashes.
At Indigo IT we help business owners clean up, restore and secure their systems every day. There has been an increase in the number of cyber-attacks aimed at small and medium sized businesses over the last year, so it’s more and more important to be prepared and secure. For more information on protecting your business from malware, get in touch with our experts today.