How to Tell if Your Computer Has a Virus
Computer viruses, much like real viruses are designed to spread from host to host and has the ability to replicate itself. Similarly, in the same way, that coronaviruses cannot reproduce without a host cell, computer viruses cannot reproduce and spread without programmings such as a file or document.
It’s an ongoing and developing threat worldwide. Millions or even billions of computers around the world are infected with malwares and new viruses that spread regularly. It’s also possible that your computer is one of them.
How can you tell if your computer has a virus? There are several revealing signs your device may have a virus.
- 1 How to tell if your computer has a virus
- 2 9 Computer virus warning signs
- 3 A slowdown of your computer’s performance
- 4 Unable to gain access to certain settings, files, folder or your entire computer
- 5 Endless pop-ups and spam
- 6 Unknown programs are running when you turn on your computer
- 7 Changes to your homepage
- 8 Your battery drains quickly
- 9 Bulk emails sent from your email account
- 10 Your antivirus has been disabled
- 11 Blue Screen of Death
How to tell if your computer has a virus
Viruses can be installed on your computer without your knowledge or permission. It can insert new, malicious code that can monitor and manipulate your online activity.
Some malware may not seem serious, but they could lead to more damaging problems. Cyber criminals could use a virus to access and use your personal information which could enable them to commit identity theft and other types of fraud.
Ransomware is another kind of virus that poses a threat. Ransomware lures its victims to click on a legitimate-looking link in an email that contains malicious code. The malware then prevents you from accessing your data by encrypting it. It holds that data hostage until you pay a ransom.
One example of ransomware/malware was the newest virus, COVID-19.exe.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raging all over the globe, some malware authors have developed malware that destroys infected systems, either by wiping files or rewriting a computer’s master boot record (MBR).
Named COVID-19.exe, this malware infects a computer and has two infection stages.
In the first stage, it just shows an infuriating window that users can’t close because the malware has disabled the Windows Task Manager.
While users attempt to deal with this window, the malware is silently rewriting the computer’s master boot record behind their back. It then restarts the PC, and the new MBR kicks in, blocking users into a pre-boot screen.
Users can eventually regain access to their computers, but they’ll need special apps that can be used to recover and rebuild the MBR to a working state.
But there was a second coronavirus-themed malware strain that re-wrote the MBR. This one is a far more intricate malware operation.
It pretends to be a “Coronavirus ransomware” but don’t be fooled, for it was just a façade. The malware’s primary function was to steal passwords from an infected host and then mimic ransomware to trick the user and disguise its real purpose: rewriting the MBR, and blocked into a pre-boot message, preventing access to their PCs.
With users seeing ransom notes and then not being able to access their PCs, the last thing users would thing to do is to check if someone exfiltrated passwords from their apps.
9 Computer virus warning signs
There are thousands of new viruses and malware attacks each year and they can affect devices and operating systems in many different ways. But here are the common signs that your computer is infected with a virus:
A slowdown of your computer’s performance
Are your files and apps are taking forever to load? Is your computer takes a long time to start and runs slowly once it does? Well, this is the first possible sign of virus in your operating system
Unable to gain access to certain settings, files, folder or your entire computer
Are you locked out from accessing settings and files on your own computer — or you can’t log on or off? — malware has likely taken over.
Endless pop-ups and spam
Pop-up windows are red flags. They are usually the one who download and install malwares. Malicious pop-ups and spam could also covertly install spyware that could hijack your browser or steal your passwords and other personal information without your knowledge. When you finally catch on, it might be too late.
Unknown programs are running when you turn on your computer
Computer viruses can create widespread problems. Adding icons and toolbars that you didn’t set up is just the start of your nightmare. If unknown programs load when you turn on your computer or other connected device, turn it right off again. You’ve been infiltrated.
Changes to your homepage
Is your homepage redirecting to another website? If you are unable to reset it, then your website more likely to caught a virus. Viruses can implement changes to your homepage and create error messages, browser errors and shortcut files.
Your battery drains quickly
Does your battery drains quickly compared to before? This is a sign that your computer is infected an is multiplying, draining your batter. It uses resources from your computer and creates more activity on your computer.
Bulk emails sent from your email account
If your ‘sent items’ folder in your email contains messages you never sent, your social media accounts have posts/tweets your never posted, or worst, you can login to your email and social media accounts anymore, most likely, you have been compromised.
Your antivirus 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.
Blue Screen of Death
Does your computer randomly crash on you? Does your screen freeze so often you don’t have a choice but restart it? This could be a sign that your device has been infected with a virus.