According to McAfee, there has been a massive increase in cybercrime across the globe. Seemingly nobody is safe, with even some of our biggest businesses falling prey to cyber criminals. Whether we use our computers for business or personal use, we need to be ready to combat this threat.
In one of our previous articles, we told you about the types of cyber-attack we need to be prepared for. One of these was the issue of malware. The trouble is, our computers may already be infected by this potentially damaging software, without us even realising. In this article, we will look at the symptoms of malware and help you to combat the problem.
Symptoms of malware
If your internet is running slow, your service provider or wi-fi connection may not be the issue. Malware is known to slow down our computer operating systems, from the bootup phase to loading up web pages. After verifying that the issue isn’t because of one of these common problems, you may have malware on your system.
Pop-up windows are often advertising on a particular website, but if your computer has pop-ups that are unrelated to the site, malware may be the problem. Not only are the windows difficult to close down, but they often come concealed with spyware that can enable the hacker access to your system. If you are suffering from this problem, you need official spyware software to deal with it, and not anything ‘free to download’ that may also be infected.
If your system crashes or freezes on a regular basis, there may be technical issues with your software or hardware. For example, do any programs conflict with each other? Are there any remnants of uninstalled software clogging up your registry system? You can check by uninstalling problem programs, and by using a cleanup tool to clear up your registry. After you have done this, and the problem continues, you probably have malware.
If you receive a strange looking email from one of your friends, don’t click on any links, as their computer may have been attacked by malware. Clicking on the link or attachment will spread the virus to your system. Should your friends tell you they have received a suspicious looking email from you, then your system is already infected.
Having antivirus software installed on your computer will give you a good line of defence before malware can be passed on to your system. Do a systems check on a regular basis, and use WordPress maintenance if you operate a website. However, with a bit of due diligence on your part, you can further reduce the risk. Don’t click on suspicious links, and avoid dodgy websites and file sharing sites that have little security.
When infected, your final resort is complete reboot of your computer system. However, use these methods before you get to that stage, or speak to a computer professional if you are unsure about malware removal.
Thanks for reading