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10 Common Signs of a Malware Infection in Computers

Symptoms of a virus infection

If you have been using computers for any given amount of time, you will have heard of computer viruses and other types of malware. Viruses, in particular, have become synonymous with attacks on computers and computer systems. The term Malware refers to the various types of Malicious Software that can be found on the internet. So, what are some of the most common signs of a malware infection in computers?

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Do I Need to Worry About Being Infected

Malware infections are nothing to laugh about. In fact, their consequences can be devastating. An article that appeared in SC Magazine, in 2014,  noted that breaches and malware had caused a staggering $491 million in losses, across the world, that same year.

Computer viruses and other forms of malware are clearly something that you need to be worried about when browsing across the internet. So, what are some of the signs of a malware infection? Here are some of the most common malware effects on computers;

Signs of a Malware Infection in Computers

  1. You computer noticeably slows down and constantly freezes

For most people, the first signs of a malware infection come in the form of a noticeable degradation in performance. Once infected, your PC may also begin to constantly freeze and become almost unusable. Admittedly, computers tend to become slow over time, mainly due to the fact that the programs that we install and uninstall, as well as the files that we create and download, take up system resources.

However, an attack by computer viruses, or other form of malware tends to have the devastating effect of abruptly disrupting the way that our computers function.

One minute you may be cruising along, doing whatever it is that you do on your computer, and the next, it will barely be able to open even a lightweight word processing program. This is one of the ways in which malware infections can be costly; in terms of the time that is spent trying to diagnose the problem, and the money that is spend on any remedial action.

  1. Your Computer Fails to Boot Up or Becomes Unstable

This is another of the common signs of a malware infection in computers. In the most extreme of cases, your computer may become unusable as a result of malware attacks. It may, as an example, fail to boot up or, if it boots up, it you may fail to open the programs that you need to carry out work on your PC.

Where the infections are that serious, you may actually need to take drastic action to get on track, including through a fresh re-installation of your Operation System. As you can see, malware effects on computers can be rather varied.

However, before going the formatting route, we recommend that you cleanup your PC using Avast. If the cause of your problems is a malware infection, chances are high that avast will find the viruses and remove them from your computer. You can get Avast by clicking on this link.

  1. The Blue Screen of Death

The so called blue screen of death is another of the common signs of a malware infection in computers. Instead of a blue screen, it is also common for people to only see blank screens when their PCs are attacked.

Blue screens of death occur when you computer encounters fatal system exceptions, some of which can be caused by malware.  There have even been reports of fake blue screens of death hijacking people’s computers and forcing them to pay a certain amount before being given access to their own files.

  1. Your Computer Randomly Reboots

Random rebooting is another of the common signs of a malware infection in computers. If you have ever encountered this problem, you will know how annoying it can be. In fact, when your PC begins to randomly reboot, you can be left unable to do much on your computer.

As is the case with most of the other symptoms that are presented here, you should note, however that a rebooting PC could be a sign of many other problems, some of which have nothing to do with computer viruses.

  1. Changes To Your Browser Preferences

Another of the signs of malware infection appears in the form of unauthorized changes to your browser preferences. This usually happens as a result of infections by adware; computer programs that have been designed to hijack your browser and show unauthorized advertisements. Adware also changes your homepage and illegally collects information about your browsing preferences.

  1. Your Personal Information Will Become Available Online

Each year, thousands of people who fall prey to computer viruses have their personal and other information posted online by hackers. This can be devastating both in financial and personal terms.

If you suddenly notice that some of your personal information has been posted online in one way or the other, this could be another of the signs of a malware infection.

  1. Unwanted Popups and Messages

Unwanted popups and messages are also another of the signs of a malware infection on your computer. These can range in seriousness from only being annoying (you get the feeling that they were created by bored high school computer geeks,) to being repositories of serious infections. Popups also tend to be embarrassing; such as when pornography suddenly pops onto your screen while you are in a crowded office.

  1. Unexplained Disk Space Consumption

If you notice that you have suddenly run out of disk space and network bandwidth, then your computer is exhibiting another of the signs of a malware infection on your PC.

Worms, another form of malicious software, are known to take up disk and bandwidth space by continuously self replicating on a victim’s computer, while also using it as a launch pad to spread to other PCs.

  1. Your Hard Drive Works Extra Hard

Hard drives act hard to enable us to store and retrieve the data that is contained on computers. However if you notice that yours has recently begun to work extra hard, this can be sign of a malware infection on your computer.

If your computer has one of those lights that blink whenever your hard drive is in use, you will notice the light becoming engaged for extended periods of time. If you do not have the light, you may still notice an increased in the sound that is made by a Hard Drive that is making extra hard.

  1. “Ghost” Programs

Another sign of a malware infection occurs when, all of a sudden, the programs that are on your computer appear to develop minds of their own. If you notice programs opening and closing without your input, this is a sure sign that your computer is under attack.

A Final Word

Computer viruses and other malware programs can cause untold losses, both financial and personal, by either disrupting the normal functioning of computers or facilitating the loss of important information. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take that will assure your safety while browsing through the internet. These include having a strong antivirus and avoiding suspicious websites and email attachments.

Read this article for more on the measures that you can take to protect yourself while surfing across the internet. If you have enjoyed reading this article, we encourage you to take a look at some of the things that you can do to immediately boost your computer’s performance.

Recommendation

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Avast is one of the world’s leading antiviruses

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