Thousands of new computer viruses and malware programs are created daily. Even with virus protection, one third of computers worldwide are infected with some form of malware. It’s a common problem and the majority of computers I work on have some form of virus, spyware, malware, or a combination of all 3 installed on them.
If you suspect your computer has a virus, but aren’t sure what to look for, here are a few common signs your PC or laptop may be infected.
• The computer is slow to start, or programs take a long time to load, or don’t load at all.
• Your home page has been changed and/or your web searches are being redirected to a strange site.
• The internet suddenly stops working on your computer, but other computers or devices like phones and tablets can connect without a problem.
• Pop up messages, especially a large number of pop ups, could indicate some type of infection.
• Warnings of virus infection from antivirus software you don’t remember installing. These fake antivirus programs ARE the virus. After running a scan, they prompt you to pay via credit card for the full program to remove the virus- which they infected you with in the first place. Even after paying to “register” the infection usually remains on your computer.
• Ransomware is a newer type of infection that locks down your computer, hides your files and demands payment to grant you access to them again. Older versions (FBI, Department of Justice) will pretend to be law enforcement who have locked your computer down due to illegal internet activity. Newer ransomware like Cryptolocker and CryptoWall are almost impossible to decrypt.
There are hundreds of other symptoms but these are some of the most common. If your computer exhibits these symptoms or just doesn’t seem to be running as well as it should, give me a call. I have over 15 years experience and deal with thousands of malware infections each year.