Here are some of the most common signs to look for if you think you have been infected:
- Computer running slow – If your computer is running slower than usual then it is quite possible you are infected with a virus. Malware and viruses running in the background drain your computers resources making it run slower than usual.
- Antivirus disappeared or disabled – Many viruses will disable security software from running, sometimes if one part of the program shuts down it could be a software failure or corruption of the program; but if everything is disabled or you can’t even see your antivirus software running in the task bar then you are almost certainly infected.
- Unexpected messages or programs starting automatically – Viruses often install fake antivirus software or diagnostic tools that tell you that your computer has a number of problems but you need to pay to remove them, this is all part of the scam in attempting to get you to hand over your credit card details.
- Problems accessing files and folders – If you’re struggling to open files which normally present no problems, or if your folder structures seem to have changed, it may mean that a virus has infected your computer. Some viruses replace files that look like yours on network drives to try and spread the virus to other computers on your network; they usually look different such as the icon looks different to normal.
- Frequent program or system crashes – If your computer is not very stable and programs keep crashing or your entire system crashes then this is another sign of a virus infection.
Viruses are becoming more complex and you may even have one in the background without knowing about it, so you also need to be aware that it is not always obvious that your computer is infected. Sometimes viruses can lie dormant for a while and then suddenly start to cause issues at a later date.
The best solution it to have a good antivirus program and make sure that it is always kept up to date.