Is your PC or laptop infected with a virus? Don’t know how to get rid of viruses? There are different signs that provide evidence that your operating system might have serious virus infections like slow system performance, browser redirection and suspicious email activity. Viruses can open doors to a realm no user wants to explore and it is necessary to have an anti-virus application already present on the OS. Let’s talk about some symptoms that allow us to identify a possible virus infection in the absence of an anti-virus.
Signs if My Computer is Infected
1) Unresponsive Functions
If opening certain functions gives no response, it clearly means there is a spyware infection that disables the functioning of applications in normal mode. The longer a spyware or virus infects the system, the more applications it will disable and make unresponsive until all applications stop executing.
2) Illegal Bookmarks and Unknown Links
The inclusion of bookmarks, favorites, and links that begin to appear in your browser is also a major sign that spyware has infected the PC. The spyware makes strange and unknown links in the browser’s favorites and bookmarks options, clicking one of which causes bigger more serious issues. It is recommended then to run an anti-virus to identify the threat immediately.
3) Suspicious Toolbars
Another integration of malware in your browser is that of toolbars. You might know of Google, Yahoo and MSN toolbars that actually help, but the inclusion of certain suspicious toolbars in the internet browser is a sign that some malicious software is logging your browsing history and transferring this information elsewhere.
4) Email Bombs
These email bombs are one of the final signs that malware has taken over the OS. Lots (and I mean lots) of unrelated emails and explicit material in your inbox, means that the system is seriously infected and requires a scan and cleanup. This actually works both ways; the emails not only come into your inbox but also send automatically to all of your email contacts so it is recommended to check your sent messages in such a case.
5) Fake Warning Messages
When infected, the operating system starts displaying odd and fake warnings saying that the PC is infected with spyware and it recommends using a particular software that will clean the PC from the infection. But, this software is a gimmick that furthers the infection with more spyware to steal your personal information. None of these offers should be followed and should be responded by disconnecting the PC from the internet and running an immediate scan preferably with an updated version of an anti-virus. This symptom is serious and delaying cleaning at this point usually results in even more serious issues.
6) Browser Redirection & Pop-ups
A probable symptom that the PC is infected is the browser being redirected to an unrelated site that basically wants you to download some software or take a survey. When you type in a URL or go to a search engine, the same site will pop up no matter what you type in. Pop-ups have the same resulting effect. You might have proper browsing, but after a while the browser opens a pop-up window that has explicit or unrelated content that you never requested or wanted to open. Disconnect yourself from the internet and run a thorough scan. NEVER click any of the pop-up windows, as it will only make the spyware threat escalate.
7) Slow System Performance
The most obvious factor that proves the system is infected is the slow performance of the operating system; applications open slower and perform slower too. Opening a Word document might take 5 to 6 minutes and such, is a definite sign that your PC is infected.
Read : Best registry Cleaner
Types of Computer Infections
These days, the term “virus” is thrown out a lot, though often erroneously. In order to be able to protect yourself from them, it is important that you know what they are and what they do. It is also important to know if you have malware, adware, spyware, or another type of system infection on your computer. Once you know those things you can begin to learn how to get rid of viruses. Here is a list of the most common types of infections and a brief description:
- Malware: Short for malicious software, malware is a computer program designed to secretly access your computer. Malware is a general term and includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, scareware, crimeware, and other unwanted software.
- Viruses: In short, a computer virus is a program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The most common ways to get viruses include opening them in seemingly harmless email attachments, by CD, or flash-drive. While some computer viruses can just be pesky, others can be extremely harmful, deleting files, crashing your computer, and/or emailing itself to all your contacts, just to name a few.
- Worms: Worms are similar to viruses except they replicate and spread easier and quicker because they require less (if any) human behavior to spread. They typically spread via the internet rather than like a virus which primarily spreads through email.
- Wabbits: No, I’m not talking about the Warner Bros. cartoon. Computer wabbits are a rare form of malware, and often the least ambitious. Unlike most malware though, wabbits do not spread from computer to computer, but focus on destroying a single machine.
- Spyware: The main difference between viruses and spyware is how you get it. You get spyware by downloading free programs that also contain spyware. Like the name suggests, spyware monitors your every activity on your computer and can access your personal information, browsing history, and surfing habits. Spyware is also known to change computer settings which can result in different home pages, slower connection speeds, and loss of internet connection. Spyware does not replicate and spread itself like viruses do.
- Trojan Horses: Named after the Greek fable, trojans are similar to spyware, where the user downloads the program unknowingly when they download a useful program. A trojan horse, once downloaded, can download more spyware, adware, etc.
- Adware: Otherwise known as advertising-supported software, when downloaded, adware will automatically play, display, or download ads on your computer. The object of adware is to generate revenue for its author. Though it is extremely annoying, adware by itself, is usually harmless.
- Keyloggers: Logs your keystrokes, usually to figure out financial data and/or passwords.
- URL Injector: This program automatically replaces certain URLs you type into your browser with an affiliate link to the same site so the author of the program gets a commission on many things you pay for online.
- Dialers: This program uses your computer’s modem to dial usually premium-rate telephone numbers.
While knowing what type of infection your computer has is important, it won’t fix the problem for you. If you think your computer has a virus you should immediately scan your computer for infections and use a virus remover to delete them. Because protecting your computer is so important to us we recommend you to read best Antivirus program.