Cyber Security 101: Is Your Computer System Infected with Malware?

Man fixing the malware alert on his laptopMalware is an umbrella term for different kinds of cybernetic security threats, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, and adware. All these share a common objective — compromise the security of an infected computer system.

Malware symptoms typically appear discrete or obvious and knowing how to tell if your computer is infected would aid you in determining how to resolve the issue. Here’s what you should watch out for:

Sluggish Performance

Malware makes use of significant computer resources for tracking your activities and delivering ads, and these activities could slow down your system and cause errors that could crash your system.

Sudden Modifications to Browser Settings

Some malware are capable of modifying your search page or homepage settings. Even if you manage to adjust them, they would just revert back to the hijacked settings each time you restart your system.

You See and Influx of Popup Ads – Some security threats will display a barrage of popup ads that are not related to a specific site you’re browsing. You might even see these ads even if you’re not online or as soon as you start your system. These popup ads are usually vulgar in nature or you might find dubious.

Your Browser Suddenly Contains Components That You Didn’t Download

Malware could add tool-bars to browsers, without the need for user permission. Uninstalling won’t work since they’re capable of installing themselves once you restart your system.

No Signs Whatsoever

It’s vital to note that your system might still be infected even if you’re not having issues with it, warns experienced CompTIA A+ security practice test instructors. Many kinds of malicious software like botnets are specifically developed to run stealthily in the background and steal critical user information without being detected — not unless you scan your system for threats.

The best defense against malware is a competent malware or antivirus software. You could easily program your antivirus software to run comprehensive scans every so often, preferably every night or once a week at least to make certain that you detect security risks before they could do further damage to your system. You must also practice safe browsing habits such as not browsing dubious sites, clicking on suspicious ads, or downloading random files from not trusted sources.