If your computer is behaving strangely, there’s a chance It has been infected with malware. So what are the warning signs you should be looking out for?
My computer/laptop/smartphone is very slow
If your computer suddenly slows down, it may be a sign that there is something wrong. Certain malware types, like crypto miners and botnets, will overload your device; they effectively “steal” your resources for misuse by hackers.
Just remember that your computer will naturally slow down over time as new software becomes more demanding. Slow performance is not a guaranteed sign of malware infection – but it is a warning sign that something may be wrong.
My computer/laptop/smartphone is very hot
If your computer is making a lot of noise, chances are that the fans inside are working overtime to keep delicate electronic components cool. This is a sign that your computer is being pushed to its limits by some software, causing the CPU to heat up. Smartphones and tablets do not have fans, but they too can get very hot when used intensively – sometimes you may even receive a warning message telling you the device has overheated.
Again, malware can place your device under load, causing it to heat up. Legitimate applications may have a similar effect however; graphics-intensive games, video editing and CAD software may also cause your computer to get hot. You will also encounter problems with overheating if you leave your smartphone in strong sunlight on a warm day.
I keep seeing ads and pop-ups
Lots of pop-ups or additional tabs opening automatically on your device is another classic sign of malware behaviour. A virus will automatically load websites as part of an ad fraud scam or to try and trigger your computer into downloading more malware.
Some websites do open a lot of pop-ups – often those hosting illegal content like warez and torrents or live streams. You should also check that your browser has been set to block unwanted pop-ups.
My device keeps crashing
Sometimes your device will become completely unresponsive or spontaneously reboot itself. This may be an extreme version of the overheating issue; your computer resources become so overloaded that it has to shutdown.
Unexpected reboots are always a sign of something wrong, although not necessarily a virus. Misconfigured or buggy apps can also overload system resources.
I get warnings from my antivirus software
There is one guaranteed sign that your computer has been infected with malware – you receive a warning from you’re antivirus app. Antivirus software like Panda Dome scans your device, looking for evidence of malware infection and automatically removing suspicious files. You will then receive a notification telling you what to do next.
Better still, antivirus software will detect malware before it can be installed on your device. which means that you wont experience any of the problems described here – at least not as a result of a computer virus.
Protect yourself today – download a free trial of Panda Dome to get started.