Frequently Asked Question

How can I tell if my computer has a virus or malware?
Last Updated a year ago

Computer viruses are about as diverse as computer users that can affect devices and operating systems in many different ways. However, virus warning signs tend to be similar across the board. Below are tips to help you know if your computer has a virus.

1. Slow-down of our computer’s performance
Are your files and apps taking a long time to load? Is your computer taking a long time to start and runs slowly once it does? If so, it’s possible a virus is infiltrating your operating system.

2. Endless pop-ups and spam
Frequent and odd pop-up windows are red flags. Pop-ups might prompt you to visit other websites to download antivirus or other software programs, which instead may install malware. Malicious pop-ups and spam may also secretly install spyware that could hijack your browser or steal your passwords and other personal information without your knowledge.

3. You’re locked out of your computer
If you’re unable to gain access to settings and files on your own computer — or you can’t log on or off — malware has likely taken over.

4. Changes to your homepage
Is your homepage randomly switching to another website? Are you unable to reset it? If so, you likely have a virus. Viruses can implement changes to your homepage and create error messages, browser errors, and shortcut files.

5. Unknown programs starting on your computer
Computer viruses can create widespread problems. Adding icons and toolbars that you didn’t set up is just the tip of the iceberg. If unknown programs load when you turn on your computer or another connected device, turn it off. You’ve been infiltrated.

6. Mass emails sent from your email account
Have you ever received an odd email from a friend that made you suspect someone hacked into their email account? If your email’s outbox contains messages you didn’t send, your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make, or you can’t log into your email or social media accounts, your computer has likely been compromised.

7. Your security software has been disabled
If your antivirus program or security software has stopped working and you didn’t disable it, it’s possible that malware has taken over.

8. Your battery drains quickly
Here’s another sign that a virus may have infected your computer and is multiplying: a drained battery. As the virus continues to multiply, it uses resources from your computer and creates more activity on your computer. As a result, your battery life is diminished.

9. Frequent crashes
Does your computer randomly crash on you? Does your screen freeze and become the infamous ‘blue screen of death? This could be a sign that your device has been infected with a virus.

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