As technological advancements emerged over the years, criminals started to develop cybersecurity threats to exploit the vulnerabilities of modern technology. One of the threats that have been prevalent for so long is the different kinds of computer viruses. This malware has caused the downfall of several companies in the past—and it can cause your company’s downfall too if you don’t take this threat seriously. In this blog, you’ll learn how to recognize virus infections before it’s too late and why it’s important to seek the help of managed IT services in the Philippines.
What Is a Computer Virus?
A computer virus usually takes the form of an executable file. It infects computers by replicating itself and modifying the codes of infected computer programs. When not intercepted immediately, it can cause the breakdown of your corporate network and the loss of your company’s critical data. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for the signs that your computer is infected by a virus. Through this, you’ll be able to detect malware attacks at an early stage and intercept them before it’s too late.
Telltale Warning Signs of a Computer Virus
In the same way symptoms can show when a person is sick, warning signs can also appear when your computer is suffering from malware infection. By looking out for these signs, you’ll be able to take action immediately and protect your business continuity.
Sluggish Computer Applications
Computer applications are designed by developers to make the lives of end-users easier. So if your computer applications are sluggish recently, there must be something wrong with your computer system—and one of the possible causes of this problem is a virus infection.
Malware infections certainly have the capability to slow down your operating system. But before jumping to the conclusion that your computer is infected by a virus, there are certain factors that you need to take into consideration.
Common causes of slow computer applications:
Your system’s RAM memory is low.
Your hard disk is full.
You’ve stored up too many browser cookies and cache.
You have a fragmented system.
Your operating system is outdated.
If none of the factors above is your problem, then that’s the time you can start considering a potential virus infection.
1. Ads Start Opening Randomly On Your Computer Screen
Another warning sign of a computer virus is the appearance of unexpected pop-ups on your computer screen—it can take the form of pop-up ads or strange messages. Aside from the fact that this malware can disrupt your internet browsing experience, it can also carry other disruptive malware threats. That’s why it’s important that you’re mindful of the emails you open and the things you click online. A few of the common sources of this virus infection are malware-infected pop-up windows, unsolicited emails, and malware that are disguised as legitimate programs.
2. Computer Begins Crashing Frequently
Other than the ones mentioned above, the frequent crashing of computers can also be a telltale sign that your device is infected with a virus. In worse cases, these virus-infected computers can even reach the point where the infamous blue screen of death (BSoD) shows up. The BSoD is a fatal system error that indicates that the user’s operating system is no longer in a condition where it can operate safely. You can fix this malware issue by running a complete antivirus scan on the system to fight and proactively block these threats.
3. “You’re Running Out of Disk Space” Pop-Up Messages
Every computer device has its own built-in disk space capacity—and the computer is programmed to warn its end-user when it runs out of free space. But if you receive a “You’re running out of disk space” pop-up message even when you haven’t stored anything on your computer, this can be a sign of a virus infection.
At present, there are several types of malicious programs that can fill up all the available space in the hard drive. If you turn a blind eye to this, this can cause your computer to crash frequently. In order to avoid this problem, it is advised that you monitor your storage space for any unusual activities like the disappearance of files or change of file names.
4. Suspiciously Increasing Internet Traffic
Whenever users connect to the internet to perform online activities like the download or upload of any data, a network activity takes place in their respective computers. However, if you notice that your internet traffic is suspiciously increasing even at times when you’re not connected to the internet, then that can be a telltale sign that your computer is virus infected.
Here are the things that you can do when you experience this problem:
Make use of programs that can help you monitor your network and detect hidden threats. You can use GlassWire, Wireshark, or Little Snitch for this.
Use a good antivirus product to scan your system. By doing this, you’ll be able to check your system for malware infection.
You can also use specialized security suites to address advanced online threats that carry dangerous financial malware.
5. Unsolicited Change of Browser Homepage
If you notice that your homepage suddenly changed into something that you didn’t set as default, it’s probably best if you run a complete antivirus scan immediately. You see, the unsolicited change of browser homepage can be a warning sign of a virus infection. It’s a possibility that at some point, you accidentally clicked on a link or a pop-up window that triggered unwanted software to download and install a virus on your device. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s necessary that you use a security solution as soon as possible in order to intercept it before it’s too late.
6. Unusual Messages Appear Unexpectedly
One thing that you should look out for when you’re using your computer is the unusual messages that appear unexpectedly. This can be a message that tells you that certain programs are opening and closing automatically or a warning which indicates that you have lost access to your drives. Although technical issues can be a possibility when you encounter these messages, it can also be a sign that malware has taken over your computer device.
Here are common troubleshooting techniques you can follow to fix this problem:
See to it that your Windows system is up-to-date.
Make use of an antivirus solution to scan your computer.
Boost your computer’s protection from security threats by installing a proactive security program.
You can also consider reinstalling your computer’s operating system.
Security Solution Shows That It’s Disabled
As cybercriminals relentlessly looked for ways to develop malicious programs, they have created sneaky types of malware that are capable to disable security solutions. That’s why if you notice that your antivirus solution is no longer working, it’s best if you look into it as soon as you can. By doing that, you’ll be able to fend off this virus infection and continue your daily work without interruptions. Moreover, it’s also advised that you utilize multiple layers of antivirus protection to enhance your computer’s defenses.
7. Your Friends Receive Strange Messages from You
Aside from sneakily disabling your security solutions, virus infections can also exploit personal information and spread through your social media platforms. Over the years, a virus that’s been spreading through Facebook Messenger has been prevalent worldwide. Once it infects your account, it’s been reported that your friends start to receive strange messages from you without your knowledge. These messages are often used by cybercriminals to victimize other people in your friend list. To keep you and your company safe from this virus, make sure that you are mindful of what you click online.
8. Suspicious Shortcut Files
Often times when the need for additional storage space arises, the usual go-to solution of end-users is the utilization of flash drives. This is because of its ability to store more data without the need to fill up all the available storage space on computers. But even though it’s a handy storage device, it can still be infected by virus infections. That’s why it’s vital that you scan the flash drive you insert on your computer before you copy any information from it or store information in it. One of the obvious warning signs that your flash drive is infected is the sudden appearance of shortcut files and the inaccessibility of files inside the device. It may seem faster to skip the scanning process, but virus infections can compromise your files in a snap and cause you a lot of problems in the future.
Most often than not, virus infections are like silent killers—you don’t realize that they’re there until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important that you pay close attention to these early signs of malware infections and do something about it immediately when you spot them. Avoid malware infections by implementing multiple layers of security solutions—and do it effectively with the help of IT professionals who perform IT consulting services, like House of I.T