What Are the Signs of a Malware Infection?

What Are the Signs of a Malware Infection?

Not all malware infections come with bright flashing lights telling you your device has now been infiltrated by a hacker. Often, malware is engineered to be as undetectable as possible, for as long as it can. This gives the hacker more time to gather data and infect other connected devices.

The use of trojans is also popular with attackers. A trojan will appear to be something innocent, like a free task management app, only to release malware once you install it.

Without ongoing monitoring and management of your devices, a malware infection could easily go undetected, causing it to become much more expensive to deal with once discovered.

The sooner you can remove a virus or other type of malware, the better chance you have of mitigating the damage and costs of the attack. 

Approximately 34% of businesses take a week or longer to regain access to their data and systems once hit with a malware attack.

Knowing the signs of a malware infection can help you address a potential infection as soon as possible, rather than waiting and allowing it to spread throughout your other devices. 

If you happen to spot any of the symptoms below, you should contact us to have your device checked out right away.

Slowing Computer

A telling sign of a malware infection is if your computer begins slowing down and becoming sluggish. A virus or other malware running in the background may be the culprit. Processes that are running on your PC take up memory and processing resources, which can impact other things you’re doing and cause freeze-ups that you didn’t see before.

Sudden Reboots Without Being Prompted

Do you know how certain applications that you install on your computer ask you to reboot to finish the installation? Some types of malware also need your system to reboot for the same reason.

If your computer reboots without you prompting it from time to time, malware that you’ve accidentally downloaded may need to reboot to finish installing. Another reason for unexpected reboots is that the infection may be causing your computer to reset itself because it has corrupted system files.

Storage Space is Mysteriously Gone

If you get a warning about storage space when you feel you should still have plenty of hard drive storage, this is something else you should get checked out as soon as possible.

Malware can be gobbling up your hard drive storage space, causing you to have problems with running certain programs (like Adobe Photoshop) or run out of the ability to save new files.

Your Browser Home Page Changes

A telling sign of an adware infection is a change to your browser home page. Your home page is set in your system settings and if this has been changed without your intervention, a malware infection is usually the reason.

This is usually done to land you on a page filled with popup ads which may all be traps, leading to other types of malware or phishing websites.

You See Emails in Your Sent Folder That You Didn’t Send

Seeing spam messages or other emails in your email “sent” folder that you never sent, is a sign that someone has breached your device and has been able to manipulate your account.

Hackers use code that triggers once they breach a system with malware, so they could easily send a few hundred messages out in less than an hour using automation.

It’s a good idea to check your sent folder every now and then to ensure you aren’t seeing any messages that shouldn’t be there.

Unusual Error Messages Popup

When your PC throws up strange error messages about “something has gone wrong” or anything else you’re not used to seeing, a malware infection may be the cause.

Malware can work in the background, corrupting system files that are needed for the smooth operation of your computer. As they get corrupted, you can end up with error messages that you’ve never seen before as a result.

Files Are Corrupted or Giving You Permission Errors

Another file corruption sign of a malware infection is if you try to open documents on your hard drive but are unable to, or they open and they look corrupted.

Getting a strange warning that you don’t have permission to access one of your files can also be a sign that someone has gained access to your PC and changed the permission settings.

If you begin to see missing or corrupted files in your folders, you want to have this checked as soon as possible, as the malware may be spreading and soon destroy all your data.

Get Your Computers Scanned Regularly for Malware

Don’t risk finding out about a malware attack after it’s too late. Haxxess can provide your Northern Ontario business with affordable managed antivirus/anti-malware solutions to keep your network protected.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! Call 705-222-8324 or reach out online.

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