Computer viruses and malware can cause minor or serious damages to your computer. Some malware can replicate themselves until they fill up all available space on your hard drive. It then turns your computer into a brick.
Some other malware can corrupt data on your computer and make it unstable. Others will attempt to use your e-mail programs to send malicious codes to everyone in your computer contact list. A hacker can also use malware to get remote access to your computer.
How to detect a malware attack
1. Slow performance and startup
Your computer taking forever to start or open programs is a clear indication of a likely malware attack. If your computer is sluggish, check first that it isn’t due to a lack of RAM memory or hard disk space. If not, then it could be a virus.
2. Crashes and error messages
If your system freezes or shuts down for no reason or programs start opening and closing automatically, then a virus might be responsible. It can also send you an odd error message to show you signs of malware.
3. Lack of storage space
A virus may be responsible for the unusable space on your computer. Sometimes a computer can be devoid of storage space on the hard drive. This might be a malware taking up all the space on it.
4. Hijacked email
When the people on your contacts list start to get emails or instant messages from social media networks asking them to click a link, it is most likely a virus on your computer doing this. They are attempting to spread the virus to other computers. A quick solution will be to change your password.
5. Missing files
Some viruses delete and move around programs and files. Some of them may encrypt some files so that you cannot open them.
6. High network activity
A virus might be responsible for sending information from your computer across the internet. It will cause your computer to be active online even when you are not using it.
7. Pop-up windows
Some windows will pop up unexpectedly on your screen with ads when exposed to a virus. These occurrences can be very annoying and could wreak havoc to your computer.
A viable solution upon detection would be to install and run an anti-virus software program to remove the malware. You can then set the software to automatically run a scan on your system regularly. It will protect your computer against threats and keep it up to date. Also, ensure to turn on your computer firewall to block malware attacks via the internet.