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Just by connecting to the Internet we are putting our PC and our data in danger. Computer threats – and malware – lurk around every corner. To avoid falling into the clutches of hackers, it is necessary to visit secure websites and, in addition, have a good antivirus installed on our computer. However, there is nothing infallible, and at any moment we can end up falling victim to pirates, even without realizing it.
Luckily, when our computer ends up infected with malware, no matter what method it may be, in the end it always ends up showing a series of symptoms that, at the very least, should activate our alarms and make us suspect that something is not working as it should : our PC is infected by a virus.
In case of experiencing any of these symptoms, we must seriously consider analyzing our PC with an updated antivirus. Windows Defender, which comes bundled with Windows 10, should do the trick. But we can also turn to specific anti-malware software, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, to detect and remove all kinds of malicious software.
Internet is very slow and with a lot of advertising
One of the most common symptoms that our computer is infected is that the Internet starts to slow down . This is because, generally, viruses are usually sending and receiving all kinds of information from other servers, which makes everything go much slower when we browse or download.
In addition, it is very common for hackers to take advantage of our computer to generate money through advertising . Therefore, another very common symptom, related to the connection, is that while we are browsing (and even without browsing) all kinds of windows appear with ads.
Crashes and restarts caused by viruses
Other common symptoms are computer crashes . These are due to the fact that malware normally tries to gain permissions on the system by attacking Windows’ own files and libraries and, therefore, ends up failing. Windows can crash from time to time for any reason. And even for no reason. But if he does it too often, we should be suspicious.
The same goes for blue screens and unexpected reboots. If they happen to us very often, it is probably that some software is doing something that it should not. And it is probably malware.
The antivirus has disappeared or is disabled
Antiviruses are designed to run at the start of the computer, and to be in operation until we turn off the PC. Unless we manually disable it, there is no reason why security software should not work. And even if we deactivate it, it will automatically reactivate after a while. Unless something prevents it.
Antivirus is the main enemy of malware. Therefore, it is normal for him to try to kill him by all means. When a virus reaches a computer, the first thing it tries to do is kill its enemy. It often attacks security software processes, or takes advantage of flaws to cause a DoS and takes it out of service.
If we are suddenly going to look for the antivirus and it is disabled, or it is not installed, then we should worry. And if it has not been updated for a long time, much more.
Are the files locked? The worst virus
Many viruses are annoying, but other types of malware rely on stealth. Everything seems to be going normally until, suddenly, we realize that our personal files (photos, documents, etc.) have disappeared. And in their place are files with strange names and extensions. We have been infected by the worst type of malware: ransomware .
These malicious programs reach the PC, encrypt all our data, leave a ransom note and disappear. The only way to get the files back seems to pay the ransom by following the instructions that the malware has left us. But, if we search a little, it is easy to find tools that help us with recovery.