In this day and age, where surfing the internet is an act as universal as eating food, or driving a car, it is not unusual to fall victim to a wide array of computer viruses that exist in cyberspace; many of which advertise themselves as links which look perfectly clickable. PC Viruses have evolved a diverse set of ‘hunting’ strategies, in order to survive in the digital wilderness. Therefore, it is not uncommon to accidentally click on a malicious link, only to have your computer infected with malware. Indeed, like the human body, a computer system is also prone to a number of symptoms when under the infection of a virus. Some of the signs in regards to this are listed below:
Antivirus is turned off
A common tactic that burglars employ when breaking into a house is to first turn their victim’s home alarm off. Similarly, in some viruses, a function is written into code that enables it to automatically disable security software installed into your computer, thus enabling the bug to hide in your device. Because this method of infiltration is commonly used, upon the instance of your antivirus being inactive, you should immediately take action, and investigate whether or not it is a sign that a malware has ‘breached the gate.’
One of the more blatant symptoms that your computer may be infected is if it regularly experiences crashes. An error as glaring as a computer crash is not always a symptom of a virus infection, though. In fact, you simply may have not installed the latest drivers. This makes the programs running on your computer incompatible with your device’s hardware. However, if this problem is not what is causing the crashes, then a virus could certainly be the culprit. To find out, open your Control Panel, and search for the ‘Event Viewer,’ (Accessed through the ‘System and Security’ option). You should then see a small folder option entitled ‘Windows Logs.’ Here, it displays the occasions where your computer has crashed through marking them with an ‘Error’ message.
Annoying Pop Ups
Perhaps the most annoying sign of an infection is an unsolicited message popping up out of nowhere. An irritating example would be a message informing you ‘Congratulations,’ you’ve won a Free iPhone; all you have to do to get it is take a survey… wonderful. Similarly, if ‘Sarah’ has ever hijacked your desktop screen, just to tell you that she’s currently earning $10,000 a month working at home, I wouldn’t click the clunky ‘Tell me how’ button that has been poorly photo shopped onto the program. In fact, I’d be more likely to call the police and tell them that I am being stalked by an insane person, just after locking my front door.
However, since it should be obvious that ‘Sarah’ does not actually exist, and was manufactured by hackers trying to get me to pay for unnecessary services, I am more likely (100% more likely, actually), to simply refrain from clicking anywhere on the pop up page.
‘Adware,’ hides within free applications widely downloadable from the internet. During the installation process, the free app will facilitate a quick skimming (Or skipping) through any terms and conditions. This legitimizes the installation of the malware, potentially expunging the hackers of any legal liabilities. After quickly clicking ‘Next’ to these steps, you might have unwittingly agreed to using their infected browser as your default browser, for example. Thus, it is important to be suspicious of anything downloaded for free. And if your device does get infected with adware, there are plenty of Antivirus software out there to remove them, as this type of infection is relatively easy to remove.
Probably the most common symptom would be that of a Slow Computer. Take note that there could be many reasons your computer’s overall speed has slowed down. Perhaps you’ve stuffed your hard drive with too much data; a lack of space is a big contributor in dragging your computer’s speed through the mud. Also, Random Access Memory, (more commonly known as RAM) is specifically connected your device’s speed and performance. To check if you are running out of RAM, open the task manager by pressing Ctrl, Shift and Esc. Then, go to the performance tab section and look at the Memory display. This shows the level of RAM usage. Indeed, if such problems are not the causes for your computer’s sluggishness, you may have bugs crawling in it.
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