Computer viruses are the most popular word when it comes to internet safety. Everyone knows that you want to avoid getting a virus on a machine. If you get one, your machine can lead to your accounts getting hacked, which can have financial consequences. Also, from a cybersecurity perspective, the infection can have major consequences on a business if it sits on a computer undetected and can spread to other employees’ computers. One of the key issues is people often get infected with the virus but don’t know the signs to sit on the computer for weeks, months, or even years. Here, I will discuss some of the common signs that let you know that a computer system has been infected and how you can remove them from the computer:
Ways to know your computer is infected
Slow performance speed: One of the most common signs of a virus infection is noticing that your computer is running slow. Like all computer programs, viruses use computing resources, and some are more intensive than others. For example, crypto miners can cause a noticeable difference in performance because it takes a lot of computing power.
Random pop-ups: Another very common sign of infection is a lot of pop-ups occurring on your computer. This may be a sign of adware, which generates revenue for the author by showing you ads.
Lack of storage space: You could find that you are running out of storage space even though you haven’t downloaded any new programs.
Crashes and error messages: You may notice that programs start closing unexpectedly, or you see unusual error messages.
Unusual activity on social media or email: your friends could be getting messages via social media, text, or email that you didn’t send.
Files have been deleted or moved: You may notice that files are missing on your computer or have been moved to folders where you didn’t put them.
Your mouse moves on its own: This is a really bad sign. If your mouse starts to move on its own, this may indicate that someone has access to your machine and is trying to control your keyboard inputs.
How to remove a virus from your computer
If you suspect that your computer has a virus, the easiest thing to do if you suspect your computer has a virus is to start a scan using whatever antivirus is on your machine. Most good antivirus software is constantly being updated with new signatures, which will allow it to detect them in most instances. If this doesn’t work, you can manually check your task manager to see what programs are running and see if you notice any unusual programs. If you find any suspicious, you can manually end the program, and that should stop any strange activity. However, to stop it permanently, you would need to disable the program from starting up on boot. In the worst-case scenario, if none of this works, you could always do a factory reset, and that would remove the virus in 99% of cases. A factory reset removes all programs and data, resetting the machine back to how it was when you first purchased it. Therefore, doing a factory reset should only be done if all other options fail.
While viruses are potentially dangerous, it’s important to note that they are only one type of malware that exists. There are many other classifications of software that can do damage to your computer, and it’s important to understand how to get rid of them if you notice any weird behavior on your computer or client’s computer.