You’re trying to get a little work done when an annoying pop-up window appears on your screen. You exit out of it and continue with your day until the window appears again.
The best thing you can do is continue to ignore the pop-up and run your antivirus software. Strange ads appearing on your screen is one of the main signs of a computer virus.
If you click on the window you may end up making the situation worse. Your computer will start to run slow, your social media may get hijacked, and your files will go missing. This is only the beginning.
To help you find out for sure if you have a virus so you can get the situation under control, check your computer for the following signs.
1. Popup Windows and Browsers
One of the basic signs of a virus is annoying pop-up windows. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to do work with ads in your face. Whatever you do, don’t click on them to find out what they are.
This is true even if it’s a window stating that you have viruses. This is a form of ransomware. The program pops up telling you that you have a virus in hopes you’ll panic and spend money to fix the problem.
Not only will the program not fix your problem but it will infect your computer with further viruses. These pop-ups don’t end with ads. Sometimes a random browser will show up when you’re trying to search with your main one.
Often times this browser won’t go away and you’ll no longer be able to use your preferred one.
2. Slow Performance
You turn on your computer to do a little work and it takes forever to get warmed up and going. It takes an equally long amount of time to open up the programs that you need to use.
Most viruses run in the background and take up disk and processing space. This bogs your computer down and makes it hard to do anything on it.
Before you jump to conclusions, check your RAM and hard drive to see if your problem isn’t just a simple case of lack of space. If you’ve got plenty of space then your problem is most likely a virus.
3. Your Files Are Missing
Some viruses play around with your files. They’ll delete them, move them, or encrypt them so you can’t open them at all.
Some viruses will even put strange programs on your PC. Be on the lookout for thumbnails of programs you know you didn’t download.
4. Your Friends Are Receiving Strange Messages From You
Your friend calls you to ask about a strange private message you sent to her on Social Media. The thing is, you don’t remember messaging her at all. What’s worse, they’re not the only one who has gotten these PMs.
This is a sign that the virus has hijacked your social media page. Logout of your social media on all your devices and change your password right away.
Check the sent box of your email as well to make sure that no strange emails have been sent out on your behalf. If you notice any weird activity, change your password.
5. Your Hard Drive Is Going Crazy
You have your laptop closed and sitting halfway across the room and yet you can hear the familiar loud whirring of your hard drive. It continues to do the same thing when you turn the screen back on even though you don’t have a single program running.
This is a big sign that there’s a virus on your computer that’s working in the background.
6. Your Web Browser Has a Bunch of New Extensions
You pull up your browser to look something up and notice a bunch of new extensions that you don’t remember downloading. Some of these extensions may be helpful and perfectly legit.
Others, not so much. Some of them are known to collect your browsing data to sell to third party buyers. Some of them just aren’t coded with security in mind.
So, if you notice one of these strange extensions uninstall it ASAP because it might point to malware.
7. Your Antivirus Software Isn’t Working
There are a few crafty malware programs that will disable your antivirus software. It will no longer be able to update and you won’t be able to use it to run a scan for viruses.
The good news is that your antivirus program will let you know when this happens. You’ll receive a pop-up telling you that your computer is no longer protected.
8. Your Browser Redirects You
You type one URL into your web browser and it redirects you to a different one altogether. Most of the time there’s more malware waiting for you on these sites.
Their goal is to grab your personal information and get you to download programs you don’t need. Sometimes hackers will redirect you to these sites for the simple purpose of generating web traffic.
Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Computer Virus
Is your computer starting to run slow? Are you receiving annoying pop-ups? These are all obvious signs of a computer virus that you shouldn’t ignore.
If you do you may end up losing your computer or worse, your personal information. Don’t let that happen to you.
Many people are under the common misconception that Macs can’t get viruses. This can’t be further from the truth.
If your Mac starts showing any of the signs here, bring it to us. Get an estimate on our services today.