Malware short for malicious software intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. If you notice any of the following issues, your computer most likely infected with some sort of malware:
Your computer is running extremely slow.
This might be a symptom of an infection by a malware. If your computer has been infected by a virus, worm or Trojan, they could be running tasks that take up a lot of resources making your computer system run more slowly than usual.
Sudden and unexpected restarts may be a sign of hardware failure but it could also be an indication that your system has been taken over by malware.
Your Antivirus and firewall protection is unexpectedly disabled.
This is yet another common characteristic that your computer may be infected. If all of your security components such as your antivirus and firewall have automatically been disabled without your consent, it is most likely a malware has deactivated your antivirus protection.
Computer Freezing becomes regular
If your computer freezes or locks up periodically, there probably is a mischievous process operating in the background.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
Blue Screen of Death appear whenever a critical system error occurs, which means that your operating system was rendered unstable and has to shut down. Often, this is the result of some sort of virus infection.
Unfamiliar and peculiar error messages.
If you are continuously getting error messages indicating that your programs won’t run or your files won’t open, it might be another sign of infection.
Operating System instability
If you somehow feel that your system isn’t working properly, actions and processes aren’t carried out and programs often hanging; it’s a reasonable assumption that your PC is infected by malware.
Altered browser settings
Spyware, after they’ve installed themselves on your system, tend to change browser settings without your knowledge. They could change your security settings, install additional toolbars and make your system more vulnerable to future exploits.
Popups are often due to advertising and once in a while, you’ll come across a site that does have a popup ad and that’s perfectly normal. But if your browser suddenly loads tens of popup windows and hangs your system as a result, that’s pretty much a sign that your computer is infected.
Pseudo malware alerts
Knowing what you’ve installed on your system is very important because sometimes trojans can simulate a malware alert without any specific details (something along the lines of “Your computer is infected!”) with a link for more information about how to remove it. If you do see a similar popup or warning, do not click on the link.
If these symptoms are present, follow the steps detailed below:
- Stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information. As soon as possible, use an uninfected computer to change all of your online passwords.
- Confirm that your security software is active and current: at the bare minimum, your computer should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall. Download free antivirus protection from here: Top 10 free Antivirus programs
- Once you confirm that your security software is up-to-date, run it to full scan your computer for viruses and spyware.
- If the problem persists after you exhaust your own ability to diagnose and treat it, you should seek an expert’s assistance.
- Take a look at detailed malware removal guide for windows based computer systems. Virus and Malware Removal Instructions guide.
- Once your computer is back up and running, think about how malware could have been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do to avoid it in the future.
- Finally, monitor your computer for unusual behavior. If problem is still present backup and perform computer format reinstall the operating system.
- Follow the basic computer security guidelines.