5 Signs that your PC or laptop is infected with malware
As the UK continues to deal with the repercussions of the current pandemic, many businesses continue to work from home – and whilst doing so, it is likely that many businesses have their employees' personal devices connected to their network, and since personal laptops and PCs are used outside of work purposes, they are liable to become infected with malware. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to spot the signs of infection on their PC or laptop – so our team of IT experts has put together a quick list of signs to look out for when diagnosing malware.
Always start by double checking that your antivirus real-time protection is not disabled. A full scan with an anti-malware program is essential – most modern laptops and PCs come with anti-malware pre-installed but if yours doesn’t have one we recommend manually installing one. If you have noticed your antivirus software isn't working anymore or the update option is disabled, find ways to fix this as soon as possible. Without this protection, your hardware may be exposed to all kind of attacks, and we strongly recommend enhancing your protection.
Malware causes pop-up ads and various kinds of messages to show on your device, particularly when you are browsing the internet and using video streaming websites. As safety precaution you should try to avoid these types of website, and you most certainly should never click on a pop-up ad.
New icons are added to your desktop
Some forms of malware will add new icons that show on your desktop either upon start-up or as you are browsing the internet and unaware that it’s happening. Additionally, if you notice any new toolbars or extensions on your browser that you did not install, this may also be a sign of malware. If you spot any of these signs, immediately uninstall these programs or consult an IT consultant.
Spam messages from your owned accounts
Accounts can be used to send spam messages to your contact list and spread malware to your friends' computers. Malware focused on Facebook and other social media sites spreads by generating fake posts or sending strange messages to your friends, with links that when clicked will also infect their devices.
Slow running PC
Are your files and apps taking a long time to load? Is your computer taking a long time to start and runs slowly once it does? If so, it’s possible malware has infiltrated your operating system.
Malware uses up available system resources leaving less space for other legitimate programs to operate normally. One of malware’s main activity is to slow down your operating system, no matter if you’re browsing the web or simply accessing your local applications.
The slowing down of a PC doesn't automatically mean you have malware, though. Check your task manager and see if applications are using up large amounts of your RAM.