Signs your computer might have a malware infection

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signs your computer has malware

Signs your computer might have a malware infection

As a computer user, you’re well aware that computers
can be temperamental at times. It will be working fine
one minute and then suddenly slow down, glitch,
sputter or crash, and then be working fine again a few
minutes later.

In most cases, this comes down to a momentary hiccup
in the software, which is why rebooting a computer
fixes so many problems. It could also be another
software or hardware problem you can fix yourself, if
you know what to do. However, it might go deeper.
Your computer woes could be the result of a nasty
virus. How can you tell? Here are five of the most
common symptoms of computer viruses.

1. Pop-up ads

Running into a pop-up ad while you’re surfing used to
be a serious annoyance, but modern browsers include
pop-up protection to keep these annoyances away on
most sties. If you’re still seeing regular pop-ups on
more than one site, it could just be a
badly-configured browser.

However, if pop-ups are coming at you when your
browser isn’t even open, it’s likely you have a virus.
This is especially true if the pop-ups advertise some
magic cure-all to your “virus woes”

If you are bombarded with pop-up ads, first run a scan
with anti-spyware software to double-check.

2. Messages you didn’t send

Most viruses have one goal in mind once they infect
your computer: to spread the virus as far as possible.

These messages can show up anywhere. The virus might
try to send out spam through your email account. It
could take control of your Facebook or Twitter and
send out spam, too. In almost all cases, it will
include a link or attachment to the virus somewhere in
the post. Keep an eye on your email’s “sent” folder
and on your social network posts. If you notice emails
and posts that you don’t remember sending or posting,
it’s likely that you have a virus. Here is what you
need to know to take your account back. 3. You’re
locked out of your computer

You’re surfing the Web when suddenly a scary message
appears saying you’re locked out of your computer. It
may claim to be from law enforcement or an anonymous

Either way, the program is lying. What’s really
happening is that a virus is blocking important
programs from running, or even encrypting your files
so you can’t get to them. The scam is trying to make
you pony up some cash to get your computer back. It is
commonly called “ransomware.”

4. Programs and tools are out of reach

Didn’t know there were different kinds of viruses?
Ransomware is no joking matter, which is why you need
to be prepared in advance. More often than not, a
computer user will rely on one simple command when
their computer starts misbehaving: Ctrl + Alt + Del.
The “three-finger salute” opens up Task Manager, which
can tell you so much about your computer. A virus
might block any number of programs or utilities to try
to protect itself. This is where deep-cleaning
anti-malware software like Malwarebytes will shine. It
goes much deeper than most anti-virus software to
clean out your computer. Plus, it has a feature that
helps it get around viruses that block popular
anti-virus programs from running.

5. You’re not seeing any symptoms at all

No news isn’t always good news when it comes to
viruses. Powerful viruses can hide deep in your
computer without raising any red flags. They’ll just
go about their business without you even knowing
they’re there.

Just because you don’t notice them doesn’t mean they
aren’t dangerous, though. They could be snagging your
passwords, sensitive files or other vital information
from your computer. The virus could be using your
computer to spread to other computers or even attack
banks and other organizations.

The only clue in this case might be a slower Internet
connection since the virus is using it.

Your computer’s processor and memory could also be
running really high for no good reason.

I do know some people who don’t bother installing
security software because their computer doesn’t seem
to have a problem. If that’s you, let me tell you that
you probably do have a virus. Every computer user,
even Mac users, needs security software running at all

Thanks to Kim Komando for this article

© 2020, Bob Culbertson. All rights reserved. On
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