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How to Tell If Your Computer Has a Virus


Computer functioning weird, annoying messages appearing on screen, everything slowing to a crawl, unable to complete work on time, all this clearly show that something is wrong with your computer. Your computer might be affected by a virus without you being aware about its existence.

Computer virus comes in all shapes and sizes. These threats are detrimental for your computer health and the effects may vary. Initially, virus deletes your files and circulates it to other computers.
Additionally, there are Trojan, worms, ransomware, spyware, malware, adware and plenty others. Every type of malware works differently. You might not be able identify that your computer has been attacked by a virus.

To help you out, here are a few ways to check if your computer has a virus:


Pop Up Ads

You may get a lot of annoying pop-up ads and error messages while browsing the web. Websites usually use pop-up ads offering coupons and giveaways. However, too many pop-up ads from multiple sites at once or error messages that does not easily go away are not normal.

pop ads
Uncontrolled pop-up messages are a dead giveaway that your computer is affected by some type of malicious program. Best case, it can be an irritating adware that is trying to let you click on ads to generate traffic and ad revenue. Worst case, it’s spying on your computer to steal your personal data and passwords. Sometimes cybercriminals generate these pop-ups to look alike error messages and try to lure you into a scam. Be careful of suspicious error messages that request ask you for personal details.


Locked Computer

If you are locked out of your PC or files due to some unusual message, you certainly have a virus. This sort of virus is known as ransomware. After locking you out of your PC, hackers ask for a ransom in order to restore your access.

Ransomware is intended to be amazingly startling and threaten you into paying the ransom amount but you should never do it. Cybercriminals are not reliable, and once you pay the ransom, there is no assurance that you will get your data back.


Computer Suddenly Running Slow

If your computer is running slow or takes forever to start, you may have a virus, notably if it happens all of a sudden. There are numerous reason why your PC is running slow but has nothing to do with viruses. Here are a few ways to analyze your device performance to determine a virus.

  •  Press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” all together to go to Task Manager or in Windows 10, search for it in task bar.
  •  Browse the performance tab, check your CPU activity, memory usage, and disk processing time to read or write requests.

task manager

If you do not have any running application or any of these three in the performance tab is continually running, most likely you have a virus. Viruses like to introduce sneaky applications on your computer that always run in the background and eventually slow down your computer.
If you observe that something is controlling resources, go to the process tab in task manager and look for the issue and look for any strange application that you do not know. You will notice that your PC can actually run tons of process at once and its easy for any malicious program to slip in.


Unexpected Icons on Your Desktop

Malicious applications install new programs on your PC, usually without your knowledge. These installed software are termed as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPS). To avoid this breach, only download software from authorized websites and ignore huge download hubs. It is recommended not to use express install option on software. First, look exactly what the program is trying to install on your PC, and be on the lookout for pre-checked boxes that automatically install additional applications.


Getting Strange Messages from You

Viruses like to spread and the ideal method for them to do that is to get into your email or social media accounts so that they can send messages to your contacts and try to infect them as well.
Phishing email scams conspire to invade your email contacts and send messages to all your contacts appearing as if they were sent by you. If you doubt that you have fallen victim to a phishing email, talk to your friends – if they receive emails from you that were not sent by you, then your computer is definitely infected with a virus.

If you believe you have a virus, run an anti-virus program to perform a complete scan of your computer. If it identifies any virus, let the antivirus remove it for you.

\Unfortunately, even the best antivirus software cannot troubleshoot everything therefore many viruses needs to be removed manually. If you have a malicious program you can not get rid of, feel free to call our nerds for help.

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