Human virus or computer virus – viruses always suck. One day your PC is working fine, and the next day, it starts misbehaving like a child throwing tantrums. Viruses can damage your system in a myriad of different ways – ranging from deleting files, corrupting files, to stealing passwords, etc. Just like your own health, you need to be aware of the sign and symptoms that indicate that your PC is sick. Here are some of these symptoms.
1. The Good Old Popup Ads
“Congratulations, you are the 100,000th visitor to this website – click ok to win $100,000” – How many times have you come across such annoying little popup ads while browsing? Many people are tempted to click ok, but alas, nobody is sitting around showering cash at random people. Thankfully, most modern browsers can stop these menacing creatures.
All is fine, until you start getting popup notifications even when your browser is closed. Now that is a sure shot sign that your PC is infected. Sometimes, these popups give notifications such as “Your computer is infected. Download XYZ Antivirus to clean your PC”. Well, that is just a virus inviting you to download another virus / malware.
If you find such notifications popping up every now and then, it is time to use an anti-malware, such as MalwareBytes.
2. Lockdown Mode activated
Ransom-wares are one of the most dangerous type of malware that are out there. It is the digital equivalent of Kidnapping. A hacker uses an encrypting software to encrypt and lock all your data. Just like real life kidnappers, they demand a hefty ransom to unencrypt your data.
Unfortunately, paying the ransom usually doesn’t help. For get rid of this problem, you will need a rescue CD, like AVG Rescue CD. If you do not have a recent backup, say goodbye to your data.
3. Hey, I did not send that email
Some Malwares are only looking to spread to as many devices as possible. They simply hijack your mailing and social media accounts and send emails and messages to everyone in your contact list. Often, it is a link to a tempting article, clicking which would lead to the virus / malware entering their system. Chances are you were infected like that.
Other than using a strong Anti-malware like MalwareBytes, you should regularly check your social media posts, preferably from another person’s account, and check the sent folder in your email account (sometimes, the malware might be smart enough to delete the mails).
As soon as you suspect you are hacked, make sure to send out a warning to everyone in your contact list. And lastly, never fall prey to a spurious email or message with an unsafe link.
4. The “My PC is misbehaving” Syndrome
Windows are closing out of nowhere, your PC randomly shuts down, the ever-faithful trio of “Ctrl + Alt + Del” refuses to open up the Task Manager, your antivirus is not loading – All these are signs that a virus has infected your PC and is messing with you.
Viruses can stop your keyboard shortcuts from working; delete desktop shortcuts; stop the start button from functioning and a host of other problems. As soon as you spot these problems, get your anti-virus and anti-malware programs scanning for viruses and malwares in your system. Sometimes it is better to use multiple security programs to ensure maximum efficiency.
5. My Data consumption is off the charts
A lot of Viruses and Malwares send out information to the hacker, and receive information over the net. Many Malwares are also designed to use your PC as a server. All these crimes take a toll on your data consumptions. If you are using an unlimited data connection, you won’t notice this easily. However, people using a metered connection will easily notice this.
Nonetheless, it is a good idea to observe your data usage periodically. If you spot any unexplained sudden spikes in data usage, it is time to bring out the guns and destroy these pests.
Besides all these symptoms, there is the usually symptom of your PC slowing down. But, just because your PC has become as slow as a snail, you cannot assume it is a virus. There can be other issues as well.
Read the previous blogs on “Cleaning up your infected PC“, “Why do you need to use MalwareBytes” and “How to download AVG Antivirus for Free” to get more information.
Finally, please don’t be a person like “My computer is just running fine” and “I don’t need an Anti-virus”. Just because everything is running fine, doesn’t mean your PC is infection free. Just like some human diseases, infections can often be silent and lay dormant for ages. Be the “Prevention is better than cure” person and install a good, strong Anti-virus and an Anti-malware. Personally, I recommend AVG and MalwareBytes.