When your computer has become infected with a virus, ransomware, or another form of malware, it’s common to panic. Malware has become so sophisticated now that it’s not only hard to spot, but also can be difficult to completely remove.
Malware can also do more than one thing. Some are single-minded, like ransomware. It will encrypt all your files, deliver a digital ransom note and then hold your files hostage until it’s removed, or the ransom is paid.
Others, like trojans, can enter the system like a virus, but have other malware, such as spyware, coming along for the ride. So, if you get rid of the most obvious one, the other one remains.
That’s why it’s often best to get help from an IT expert for malware removal when your system is showing signs of infection. Professions use tools that dig deeper into a system to get particularly difficult malware out.
In 2021, 74% of organizations have experienced malware activity that has spread from one employee device to another. That’s an increase from 61% in 2020. One reason that malware can spread is that it has time. Users often overlook malware infection warning signs because they don’t realize their PC has been hit.
It’s important to have your computer checked out at the first sign of trouble. Here are several warning signs of malware infection to look for.
1. Your System Reboots Without Warning
When rogue code is unleashed in your system it interferes with normal processes and this often results in your PC rebooting on its own and without warning.
You may get a vague message about your computer encountering some problem, but not really know why it rebooted. Don’t dismiss this when it happens, if your system is rebooting on its own and not during an update installation, then it could be a sign of malware.
2. The Hard Drive is “Whirring” Continuously
When you’re working on a task that is particularly resource-heavy, you’ll hear a “whirring” sound from your hard drive. This should only be intermittent and not happen when you’re doing simple activities, like typing up a Word document or reading your email.
If your hard drive is making that sound more than usual, it could be because a virus is working in the background and using up PC resources.
3. Your PC is Slower Than Usual
Viruses, worms, and other forms of malware will often cause your computer to slow down considerably. This could be because they’re using resources and/or they are changing the code in your machine, making it run less efficiently.
4. Programs Start or Shut Down Automatically
Your software programs should not have a mind of their own. The only ones that should start automatically are those you’ve set to open at Start-Up when you first boot your PC. And other than that one time, they should not start automatically.
If you notice your programs shutting down or starting on their own, then it could be a malware infection.
5. Your Mouse Pointer Seems to Move on Its Own
Something that would creep most people out is seeing their cursor move on its own. This could be a sign that malware has infected your PC and is being used by a hacker to remotely control your device.
This would usually be done when they think a person might be away, such as in the middle of the night, but it could happen anytime. If you see your mouse pointer moving by itself, you should have your computer checked right away.
6. You Get Strange Popups
Adware will often cause popups on your PC about things like bogus antivirus or a PC cleaner. Adware is one of the most common forms of malware and one of the most annoying. Any type of strange popups on your system can indicate malware.
7. There are Changes to Your Browser Home Page
A common indicator of a malware infection is if you open your browser, and you get a different home page than the one you set. Hackers will often change that default home page setting to redirect you to a phishing site that contains more malware or other malicious code.
8. Your Security Software Is Disabled
Some forms of malware will disable your antivirus or other security software. This allows it to open the door to its “brother and sister” forms of malware, allowing them to easily get around in your PC without warning.
You should definitely have your computer checked if your security software is turned off, but you didn’t close it.
9. There are Tons of Emails in Your Sent File That You Never Sent
It’s a good idea to check your email program’s “sent” folder at least once a week to ensure there aren’t any emails sent out that you didn’t send. Some forms of malware will use your email program to send out phishing emails by the hundreds from your system.
This could cause you to get your email address on a block list.
10. Your Battery is Draining More Quickly Than It Should
If your laptop battery is draining faster than it should, this is a sign of an infection. It could be due to a virus or other malware infection using up resources in the background, which then eat away at your battery life.
Keep Your System Protected with Managed Antivirus/Anti-malware
GEEK911 can help your Silicon Valley area business with effective device protection against malware and phishing to reduce the risk of infection.
Schedule a consultation by calling 1-866-433-5411 or reach us online.