One of the common questions we are asked, is how to tell if a computer is infected? Some computer viruses are getting ‘clever’ by deliberately making themselves as stealthy as possible, so that they can do their work without you ever knowing.
Luckily, most of them can still be spotted, if you know where to look or what to look for – especially if there is a combination of symptoms.
Computer is running slow?
The general rule is that computers tend to get a bit slower over time just in normal use, so you need to be careful here. The more that computers are used and the older the technology in them, the more likely it is that the computer will take a little longer to do things than when it was new.
If however, your computer gets slower in a short period of time, that is a possible indication that something is amiss.
Where has my search engine gone?!
You switch your computer on, you want to do an internet search and suddenly Google, Bing or whatever search engine you normally use, is no longer there.
Although some people can inadvertently change the search engine in their internet browser, the majority of cases we see are that the search has been changed without your permission. This is classic computer malware behaviour (malicious software).
Unfortunately in many cases it isn’t a simple task to get rid of them by changing the setting back to what it should be, because they tend to reinsert themselves.
Pop-ups, pop-ups and more pop-ups!
If you are getting pop-up windows appearing, particularly advert-style ones, then again this is a classic symptom that you may be infected.
These annoying windows can appear even though you may have switched off pop-up windows in your internet browser and are usually scam-type infections, trying to convince you to spend money on computer programs and the like.
New icons on your desktop
Quite often we see icons on customer desktops that the customer has no recollection installing – particularly for so-called optimisation or driver update programs.
Many free downloads contain links to other software that is downloaded at the same time and whilst this extra software may not be classed as a virus in itself, they are classed as ‘Potentially Unwanted Programs’ and are automatically removed when professional technicians disinfect a computer. They were installed without your express permission, are hoaxes or simply don’t really do what they say that they do.
If you suspect that your computer is infected, give us a call on 01455 209505 and we can check your computer for you.