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Posted by Onyx IT ● Oct 5, 2022 9:40:10 AM

Approximately 34% of organizations take a week or more to regain access to their data and systems after a malware attack.

Malware is a catch-all term that encompasses many different types of malicious code. It can include the following:

  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Trojan horses
  • Adware
  • Key loggers
  • And more

The longer malware remains unchecked on your system, the more damage it can do. Most forms of malware have the directive to spread to as many systems as possible. So if it's not detected and removed immediately, one computer can infect 10 other systems on the same network in no time.

Early detection is important so that you can disconnect an infected device from your network and have it cleaned by a professional.

Watch out for these important warning signs of malware infection so that you can act immediately and reduce your risk.

 

1) STRANGE POPUPS ON YOUR DESKTOP

Some forms of malware may masquerade as an antivirus program or warranty notice that appears on your screen. Hackers try to imitate things that users might know from a legitimate program so that they're more inclined to click without thinking.

If you see a strange notification about the renewal of your antivirus subscription or a warranty extension that doesn't make sense, it could be a sign that your PC has been infected with adware or another type of malware.

 

2) NEW SLOW BEHAVIOUR

Computers can become sluggish for various reasons, such as having too many browser tabs open at the same time or running a memory-intensive program. But usually, you know your computer and the things that slow it down.

If you notice a new, unusual slowdown, it could be an infection. An example would be if you've no programs open other than Notepad or another simple application, and yet you notice your computer freezing.

When malware runs in the background, it often consumes system resources and makes your system sluggish.

 

3) APPLICATIONS START CRASHING

Applications shouldn't just crash out of the blue. There's always a reason for it. Either the software is buggy, there was a problem with an update, or something else is messing up the application's files.

If applications crash suddenly and you're forced to restart the application or reboot your system, this is another telltale sign that a virus, Trojan or other malicious code has been introduced.

 

4) REDIRECTION FROM YOUR BROWSER HOME PAGE 

If you open your browser and land on a different homepage than the one you normally see, you should have your PC scanned for malware immediately. Homepage redirection is a common trick of certain types of malware.

The malware infects your system and changes the system setting for your browser's default home page. This can lead you to a website with pop-up ads or to another type of phishing site.

Trying to change the homepage back in the settings won't fix the problem. It's important that the malware is removed.

 

5) SUDDEN REBOOTS

Another annoying feature of certain types of malicious code is that they reboot your system without warning.

This can cause the work you just did to be lost, and it can become difficult to get anything done. This can happen if the malware modifies important system files in the background. If the files are corrupted, your system becomes unstable and can often reboot unexpectedly.

 

6) YOU ARE OUT OF HARD DRIVE SPACE

If you notice that a large portion of your hard drive space that used to be free is now gone, it could be a malware infection that's taking up your space. Some types of malware can make copies of files or introduce new files into your system.

They hide cleverly, so don't expect to see the word "malware" during a file search. Instead, the dangerous activities are usually disguised by a generic-sounding name that you mistake for a normal system file.

 

7) YOU NOTICED CORRUPTED FILES

If you open a file and find that it's corrupted, this could be an indication that your system is infected with ransomware or another form of malware.

Although files can occasionally get corrupted for other reasons, this is a serious issue that deserves a thorough malware scan when you see it.

 

8) STRANGE COMPUTER SOUNDS WHEN THERE SHOULDN’T BE

Most of us are familiar with those "thinking noises" when our computer is processing something memory intensive. Usually, you'll hear some sort of whirring noise that disappears as soon as you finish the activity.

If you hear these processing sounds even though you aren't doing anything particularly intensive on your computer, it could be a sign that malware is running in the background and should be checked.

 

GET EXPERT MALWARE SCANNING & REMOVAL

 

Free online scans for malware and viruses aren't very reliable. Instead, contact ONYX IT who can make sure that your entire system is properly cleaned.

 

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Article used with permission from The Technology Press.