Malware for dummies - Does my computer have a virus?

March 7th, 2018

Written by Katy Winship

Unfortunately, the answer to the above might be “yes” and your computer could be already compromised with viruses or advanced malware that are slowing down its activity and performance.

Here are just a few of the tell-tale signs of that your computer has a virus:

My computer applications run slow lately and it takes longer than usual to start.

Some of the most common causes that slow down your PC are:
• Your system’s RAM memory is low, possibly caused by running multiple high perforamnce apps at the same time.
• There is no storage space on your hard disk
• Your Windows OS hasn’t been updated or you’re using outdated drivers.
If you have already thoroughly verified these possible causes and all seems to work just fine, you can start considering a potential malware infection.

I keep getting annoying ads that are opening randomly or strange messages on my computer’s screen.

Unexpected pop-ups which appear on your screen are a typical sign of a malware infection that wreak havoc on your computer. This form of malware is known as spyware and is designed to collect and steal users’ sensitive data without their knowledge.These pop-ups are not only frustrating, but they usually come bundled with other concealed malware threats and could be far more destructive for our systems. They could be disguised as legitimate programs and actually track your web browsing data or monitor your online activity to collect passwords and other personal information.

So our advice to you is to:
1. NEVER CLICK on a suspicious pop-up!
2. Don’t answer unsolicited emails or messages
3. Be very careful when you are trying to download free applications from various websites

I started getting this message: “you’re running out of disk space on Windows (C:)”

If you are receiving this warning message, it means that there’s no free space left on a particular partition (in this case, C) on the main hard drive in your computer. More and more users are reporting this issue.This behaviour can occur if the free disk space on your computer has dropped below the low disk space notification threshold associated with the Disk Cleanup utility.This could be another sign of malware infection, since there are so many types of malicious programs which use different methods to fill up all the available space in the hard drive and cause it to crash.

My homepage has changed and I don’t remember doing it myself

If you noticed this unusual behaviour or a new toolbar showing out of nowhere, or you’ve been redirected to a different web address than the one you’ve initially accessed, they could be signs of a malware infection.It usually happens when you visit a website and you accidentally click on a link or a pop-up window. This triggers the unwanted software to download and install on your device. Its effects are not only annoying, but also malicious.

My laptop keeps crashing when I watch videos or play games. It freezes and then a blue screen shows up.

Yes that’s right- the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)! You get this then once you restart your computer to tell you that Windows was recovering from an unexpected shutdown. There might be two things causing this type of issue:
1. You could be dealing with a technical issue caused by a potential incompatibility between your software and/or hardware
2. Or it may be a malware issue.

My PC is acting weird because I get unusual messages that appear unexpectedly

Here are some frequent warning signs to watch out for!
• Suddenly you see programs opening and closing automatically
• Your Windows operating system is shutting down unexpectedly, without any reason
• You’ve noticed strange windows when your PC tries to boot
• Windows tells you that you’ve lost access to some of your drives.
Although the root cause may be a technical issue, it could also be a warning sign that malware has taken over your computer and is slowing down its activity.

My friends tell me they’re getting strange messages from me on Facebook

If your friends recently got several strange messages/emails or suspicious links from you, and you didn’t send, it’s likely that you’ve been infected with malware. Check your online accounts and see if those random messages were actually sent from one of your accounts.

Sometimes I see unusual error messages displayed on my computer

An error message like this one could indicate that there’s a bug in your system that needs to be fixed, or it could be a warning sign of malware infection. These types of error messages showing missing or corrupt files folders suggest that your PC has been compromised and its performance is affected, which makes it run slowly.

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