Malware is a loaded term that both luddites and seasoned techies dread.
There is a vast variety of malware floating around the web, ready to be downloaded by an unknowing victim, ranging from spyware and irritating adware to software that’s main purpose is to make your day a bit less enjoyable.
Here, we’ll go through some of the main signs of malware infection to watch out for.
1. Slow performance and a history of accidents
Malware requires RAM to operate and eats up space on your hard disc just like any other software.
However, the makers of said malware aren’t interested in optimising your workflow or making lightweight apps, unlike the majority of products you’ll have installed.
All they care about is getting there, even if that means doing something as annoyingly basic as making your system sluggish.
2. New icons, tasks, or toolbars
Have you discovered something on your computer that you don’t recall installing? It’s possible that malware is to blame.
Although they are less prevalent than they once were (we’re looking at you, Yahoo), toolbars and other ‘useful’ browser add-ons aren’t necessarily the helpful services they claim to be.
The same is true for background processes, albeit they can be a little trickier to understand.
Enter Task Manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del, and it’s possible that you won’t be familiar with most of the tasks that are now running.
However, it’s worth looking up any outliers just in case. You can also, of course, check your entire device with specialised software.
3. Constant advertising about Malware
Malware makers may quickly and easily make money by showing more advertising to people who are infected.
As a result, this is the most obvious scenario that comes to mind. It may be time to get out your malware detection programme and do a scan if you see that reliable websites you usually visit are overrun with advertisements, many of which are unusual, foreign, and untargeted.
It’s an even more certain evidence that your device isn’t as clean as it once was if you’re seeing advertisements on your desktop — it may happen. Take action to halt the advertisements.
4. Your browser’s options have been modified
Once it’s inside, malware wants to make itself comfortable and change its environment to fit its demands.
You may notice that your homepage has changed, which is a frequent sign of infection. This is likely to be advantageous for the site’s designer because it will enhance ad income.
Your preferred search engine, cookie preferences, and the insertion of new extensions are further variables that might alter.
5. Turn security software off
Any installed protection software may be attacked if some crafty virus has managed to get past your defences.
Malware may modify settings to make its work simpler, much as when you change your browser’s settings.
This can entail loosening up the firewall restrictions or even turning off every piece of security software you have, including antivirus.
Always check to see if your antivirus programme is still operating as you intended; if not, take steps to prevent your settings from being modified again.