Computer viruses have become very common, and unfortunately, they always lead to negative results. However, if you are not a tech guru, you might not know whether your PC has been affected by a virus. Maybe you assume that the computer is behaving strangely because it is old. Plus, malicious software authors always do their best to go undetected until they have achieved their goal. So how do you tell that you may have a virus? Here are some of the signs to watch out for.
Sudden Lack Of Storage Space
If you find that your hard drive has suddenly run out of space, the issue could be a virus. Self-replicating viruses, which are also known as dick bombs or worms, can cause all kinds of havoc to a computer system, quickly filling your hard drives with copies of the virus. In most cases, the files injected into a hard drive will be invisible, making it hard for you to know what to delete.
Unexpected Pop-Up Window
Unusual or unexpected dialog windows and boxes are usually a bad sign. Apart from being annoying, they can also be dangerous. A virus warning saying that you have a security threat on your PC and instructing you to click on a certain link or call a number is fake. According to IT experts, there is no way a website can inform you that your PC is infected. So, if you get a pop-up message from Skype saying a virus has been detected, you should be alert because Skype cannot tell whether your computer has a virus. In addition, a legitimate antivirus protection software will never prompt you to click on a link or call a random number.
Inability To Download Antivirus Updates Or Programs
Even though computer viruses are non-living things, some have been programmed to have some sort of self-preservation instinct. The first step to eliminating a virus is by scanning your laptop using antivirus software. But if you are having issues downloading or installing the software or cannot update your existing program, a virus might be causing this. Some antivirus software solutions can help scan and clean an infected computer.
If your computer is taking longer than usual to start or the programs are taking time before opening, you may have a virus. However, keep in mind that sluggish performance can sometimes be a space issue. So, check whether you have enough hard disk space or RAM before assuming it is a virus issue. You can also lookup a few tips on how to make your computer boot faster.
A Spam Sent From Your Social Media or Email
Computer viruses work in many ways. One method that has become popular is where your contact list receives random messages either from your email or social media account. This sort of infection spreads quickly by tricking people who unknowingly click on the link only to find that their devices have been infected by malware. The best solution is to log out of your accounts, create new passwords and follow measures such as two-factor authentication.
Random Connections To Strange Websites
Another sign that your PC may be infected is when a legit antivirus software informs you that a certain application is trying to connect you to a website you do not know. Generally, a PC will never make connections by itself; someone has to do that. And if you did not initiate these connections, then a strange program may be trying to do this on your behalf.
You Are Locked Out Of Your Computer
Malware that locks you out of your PC is very difficult to remove because you cannot access tools in your operating system that can help you eliminate threats. Malware that locks you out and demands payment is called ransomware. It will either lock your system entirely or encrypt files on your computer, making them unreadable. Most officials warn against paying as that does not guarantee you getting your data back, and your bank details may be stolen. When this happens, work with an IT technician to guide you on the best way to proceed.
Missing Or Unexplained Files Or Folders
Your files may be missing, or the content of your folders is different. Your computer does not make any changes like this by itself. If you notice such an issue, you either have a technical or virus issue.
Warnings From Your Antivirus Software
The surest sign that a virus has infected your PC is getting an alert from your antivirus app. As the software scans your computer looking for malware infection and eliminating suspicious files, you will get a notification of what to do next. Better still, antivirus software will detect a virus before it is installed on your laptop, meaning you will not have to deal with the issues mentioned above.
Anyone who uses a computer, whether for work or personal reasons, is at risk of a virus attack. That is why you need to install antivirus protection software that will detect any malware and act on it before it becomes a problem.