9 warning signs your PC is infected with malware

So, you are facing issues with your PC or Laptop. Have a read of our 9 Warning signs your PC is infected with Malware…

  1. PC Slowing down   

Malware has the tendency to slow down your operating system, your Internet speed or the speed of your applications.

If you notice something like this and you’re not using any resource-heavy program or application, check for other causes first. It may be a lack of RAM memory, a fragmented system, a lack of space on your hard drive or maybe a hardware issue affecting your drive.

If you have already thoroughly verified these possible causes and all seems fine, you can start considering a potential malware infection.

2. Pop ups

Unexpected pop-ups which appear on the system are a typical sign of a spyware infection. Pop-ups are not only annoying, but they usually come bundled with other concealed malware threats, and which could be far more destructive for our systems.

To avoid spyware and its impact on our systems, keep in mind a few security practices:

  • don’t click any suspicious pop-up windows
  • don’t answer unsolicited emails/messages
  • be careful when downloading free applications

To remove this type of threat, you need a very good security product against spyware. A few popular products capable of removing spyware from your system are Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware and other

3. PC Crashing

If you suspect a technical issue, multiple software problems may lead to this.
Are you running various programs which may conflict with each other? Are there any orphaned registry keys which have not been removed that could down and eventually crash your system?

Orphaned registry keys are pieces of data that are left behind during the process of uninstalling programs from your computer. They take up unnecessary space and can be a serious liability for the proper function of your computer.

Our recommendation is to run a program such as CC Cleaner which is free. This will automatically scan missed and unused keys while also having the option to backup the data before the actual cleaning.
After installing CCleaner, click the Registry icon select the items you want to remove Then click Scan for issues and a list of potential issues will be generated.
Once the scan process is finished, you can review the list and click on Fix selected issues to solve the outstanding Registry issues. Always backup prior to cleaning the files.

4. Suspicious Hard Drive Activity

Another warning sign of a potential malware infection on your system is the hard drive activity. If you notice that your disk continues to exhibit excessive activity even when you don’t use it and there is no program or download running at that moment, this could be the right time to check your system for malware.

We have to mention that another possible cause for the abnormal hard disk activity could be a hardware failure of the disk. You should also take this into consideration.

We should mention that it helps checking what programs and processes are constantly accessing your hard drive, so you can easily detect unusual activity.

Regarding the hard drive, you also need to check if your physical storage space has been increasing lately or if some of your files disappeared or changed their names.

This is another sign of malware activity, since there are numerous types of malicious programs which use various methods to fill up all the available space in the hard drive and cause it to crash.

5. Running out of hard disk space

Regarding the hard drive, you also need to check if your physical storage space has been increasing lately or if some of your files disappeared or changed their names.

This is another sign of malware activity, since there are numerous types of malicious programs which use various methods to fill up all the available space in the hard drive and cause it to crash.

9 Warning signs your PC is infected with Malware. Are you seeing any of the issues so far?

9 Warning signs your PC is infected with Malware

6. Unusual messages or programs that start automatically

A few warning signs should really make you suspicious. If any of these happen, pay closer attention and try finding the cause:

  • Programs are opening and closing automatically
  • your PC is shutting down without reason
  • if you notice strange windows in the booting process
  • Windows informs you that you’ve lost access to some of your drives.

Though the root cause may be a technical one, it could also be a sign that malware has compromised your system.

7. Your anti virus solution stops working 

Certain malware is designed to disable security solutions leaving you without any protection. If you already tried to reboot your computer, close and open the security solution and all your troubleshooting efforts were useless, you could consider the malware infection scenario.
This is especially the case since traditional antivirus solutions are sometimes unable to block and remove advanced malware, such as ransomware or financial malware. There are a couple of strong reasons why this is happening, and you should read about them, so you can enhance your protection by adding multiple layers.

8. Your friends tell you that they are getting strange messages from you

Check your Sent Items folder in your email/social media account, to verify whether those messages were sent from your account.
If there is nothing there these messages may have been delivered from an application which is out of your control.
Take these steps should you find this to be the case:

  • Make sure you logged out from all your accounts. We access the same accounts on our work computers, on our home laptops and of course, on our mobile devices.  Make sure you sign out of accounts when using them on devices other than your own!
  • Set strong passwords for your accounts. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts! Using different passwords on your accounts can minimise the potential loss even if hacked. Make a habit of managing your passwords safely.
8. New Icons on your desktop

Have you noticed new icons on the desktop of your computer? Then you may have installed software that contains PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).
Also known as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), these are software programs that you have not installed on your computer.

These can collect private information, show annoying ads or pop-ups on the desktop, or add toolbar’s on your browser. If infected with PUPs – use CCleaner and Malwarebytes to remove the offending programs.

9. Key system areas deny access

Do you find yourself in the situation when you can’t access Task Manager, Control Panel, Registry Editor or Command Prompt?

So now you have read our 9 Warning signs your PC is infected with Malware. Hopefully this helps you identify if there is an issue.
If you are facing a problem ensure you stop doing anything on the device like online banking. There are a few tips above but do look out for our upcoming blog post on steps to resolve this

If you are a business based in Coventry or Warwickshire and need support you can contact us here or call 02476 102030