When you suddenly start seeing pop-ups appearing on your computer screen while working on an important task, it can be a sign that your computer is infected with a virus. This scenario is not good but unfortunately, this can happen to anyone at any time of the day. You should prevent this from happening because of viruses and malware nowadays don’t just make your computer slow, it can also get important data and files on your computer. So, how can you know if your computer has a virus? Check the signs we’ve listed below together with some tips on how to verify if it’s a virus or not.
Signs that your computer has a virus
1. Suspicious activity on your hard drive
When your hard disk constantly spins and creates noise continuously even if you don’t have running programs or you’re not using your computer, then your computer might be infected with a virus. Make sure to check if your hard drive is excessively active even when not in use.
2. Unexpected pop-ups
If ads are popping up unexpected on your computer screen, then this might be a sign that it’s infected with a virus. These pop-ups are annoying. Other than that, they might have malware inside that can penetrate your computer and spy on you. So, even if that pop-up or ad says your computer has a virus, don’t click or open it. This might be a rogueware that offers to clean your computer because they have detected a virus in it, which is, in fact, a fake virus. They will ask you to pay a certain amount of money to clean your computer, but the truth is they will insert more malware in it to penetrate your system.
3. Lack of storage space
A virus might be doing its best to destroy the system of your computer and make it unusable if your hard drive space suddenly becomes full.
4. Slow performance and slow startup
Your computer might have a virus if it is taking too long before a program or application opens. Other than that, if your computer suddenly takes too long to start than normal, then it is infected.
Check your RAM if you still have a lot of storage space because this might be the reason why your computer became sluggish. But, if you’re RAM still has enough space, then there’s a virus in your computer
5. Missing files
Malware moves around programs or deleting files and applications on your computer. So, if you have some missing files on your computer, then there might be malware in it. Other files won’t be able to open as well because of malware encrypts files, too.
6. High activity on the network
When you are not using your internet connection but is still very active, then a virus might be sending and downloading information from your computer across the internet.
7. Error messages and crashes
Your computer might be infected by a virus if your system suddenly shuts down or freezes with no apparent reason. Other than that, your programs will automatically close and open. You will also see error messages popping on your computer if there’s a virus in it.
8. Hijacked email
If your email is hijacked, then a malware or a virus has penetrated the system of your computer. For instance, when your friends start receiving chats on social media platforms and emails from you, asking them to click a link or an attachment. A hacker is attempting to spread the virus on the people using your accounts so they can hack more accounts. If this happens, immediately change your password.
9. Security attacks
If you can’t install a firewall or an antivirus program on your computer, then there’s a virus in it that disables the protection of your computer.
10. Browser woes
Your computer might be compromised when the homepage of your browser is changing or when it becomes sluggish. Other than that, if your browser is redirecting you to unusual web pages online, then you’re infected.
If you spot any of these symptoms on your computer, you should take action immediately. Make sure to install and run an anti-malware and antivirus program on your computer to keep it protected. Don’t forget to set up these software to scan your system automatically on a regular basis so there won’t be any virus or malware penetrating your system. Other than that, make sure that they are updated and upgraded to their latest version. Make sure to turn your firewall on as well so malware over the internet can be blocked immediately.
Is a Process Virus or Not?
When you see a strange process inside the Windows Task Manager, you might be wondering if your computer is already infected with a virus. Actually, it is normal to see some processes with confusing and strange names in the Task Manager, which can be suspected as a virus or malware. However, these strange processes are normal and they are not viruses. These processes are often added by your computer manufacturer. While some are added specifically by Windows and the applications or software you have installed.
But, if that process is using a large amount of disk, CPU, and memory resources, then it might be malware. If you’re suspecting that one of the processes might be a virus or malware, then you can check it by right-clicking that process in the Task Manager and choosing the Search Online option so you can search for more information about it.
Now, if the search results showed that it is malware or it contains malware, then there’s a big possibility that your computer already has one. But, it doesn’t end there. Malware can disguise and copy a legitimate process so don’t be confident that your computer isn’t infected. A process in the Task manager might appear as chrome.exe or Google Chrome, but it might be a malware. Performing an anti-malware scan is recommended to make sure you’re malware-free.
Keep Your Computer 100% Safe
In today’s age, large outbreaks of malware are done by attackers without any flaws, installing ransomware on your computer without you noticing. That is why you should get the best and overall protection that you can have to protect your device.
For traditional antivirus, the built-in Windows Defender can be used to protect your computer. Attackers have innovated their system to go against the antiviruses developed day by day to prevent attacks and they have moved on from using traditional and regular viruses to Ransomware to infect your computer. Using the default antivirus together with a third-party antivirus can be a big help to prevent ransomware from entering your computer system.
There is no way that your computer can’t get infected with viruses when you browse online, that is why you need to keep your Windows Defender and your third-party antivirus active when browsing. You can’t just look at a website and assume that it’s safe to browse. Attackers have innovated just like how antiviruses innovate day by day and they will do their best to break your computer’s security protection so they can penetrate the system and access your important information, including your credit card information, passwords, usernames, and more.
However, using an antivirus alone is not enough. You should also install a good anti-malware program to protect you from the threats around the internet, including potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), spyware, viruses, and ransomware. To avoid malware and exploit online, try installing Malwarebytes on your computer. This software provides overall protection for your computer because it has an anti-exploit feature, a system that won’t even slow your computer down and no bloatware will be installed.
However, Malwarebytes is a paid program and if you want to use these three tools to protect your computer and all the data inside it, you have to pay $40 per year for its service.
Other than that, we also don’t recommend using Malwarebytes alone. You might think that it can entirely replace a traditional antivirus, but it can’t because the strategies it uses are completely different compared to a traditional antivirus like Windows Defender. Malwarebytes will try to prevent harmful software from penetrating your computer, while Windows Defender quarantine or block these harmful programs. So, for your best protection, you should use both software at the same time.
How To Scan Your Computer
Windows Defender will automatically scan your computer for viruses in the background while you are using it. But, if you want to perform virus scans manually, you can do that as well.
- On your computer, click the Windows Start menu located at the bottom-left part of the screen.
- You will see a search box in it. Type “Security” on the search box.
- Search results will appear. Choose Windows Security on the results to proceed.
- To scan your computer system for malware, just click the Quick Scan option. Windows will start the scan. Just wait for a couple of minutes until the scan finishes.
- The results will appear on the screen. When there’s a malware found on the scan, then you can remove it automatically on your computer using Windows Defender.