Identifying the presence of malware on your computer should never be an impossible task that only feels your mind with dread.
If you want to be able to identify whether your computer is infected with malware, be ready to learn, research and do plenty of work. You should learn all the telltale signs indicating the presence of malware on your computer before identifying the measures worth taking to address the situation.
The telltale signs you should watch out for include the following:
- Sudden poor performance
You need to be observant and monitor the speeds of your computer as regularly as possible. The presence of malware often causes the computer to run at a much slower speed. Poor performance is also normal with machines that are full of malware. In some cases, you will notice that PC appears to be running plenty of stuff behind the scenes.
- Failure by maintenance programs to work
Malware know how to protect themselves from detection. They do this by disabling the maintenance programs you installed to identify or detect malware. If you notice that the following programs that you installed for detecting and removing malware do not work, place the blame squarely on the presence of malicious software:
- Windows Update
- Task Manager
- Antivirus Program
- System Restore
- New, unwanted toolbars that refuse to go away
The programs that you install on your computer are likely to introduce new toolbars. For the most part, such toolbars will be nothing more than annoying, but you should be able to remove them. On the other hand, when you are unable to remove the toolbars, or you remove them only to see their reappearance, malware would often be the main culprit.
- Change in home and search pages
Do not ignore the changes that you see on your home and search pages. The changes are a common occurrence every time you install new programs. However, if the changes are not what you prefer and you keep returning the home and search pages to their original state only to see these not producing the desired results for long, identify and remove the malware behind them.
Other signs of malware include:
- Disabled antivirus program
- Failure by the browser to open
- Browser keeps redirecting even when not commanded to do so
- Computer that crashes constantly or remains in the reboot loop
If you notice any of the aforementioned behaviors on your computer, do not panic. First, identify a different anti-malware program to scan the computer and remove all the malware. Your ordinary antivirus program might have been compromised thus unable to do much. While doing the scanning, ascertain that the computer is in the Safe Mode with Networking, as this is the surest way of ensuring that the malware does not interfere with the scan.