Warning signs that your computer is infected

Many times during our daily interaction with computers, we ask ourselves, “How I can tell if my computer is infected with a Virus, Trojan, Worm or other malicious file?” Learn a few simple signs that could indicate a malware infection.

A few easy ways to determine if your computer is infected with something malicious is to look for the following signs of infection.

Symantec Antivirus is disabled
If your anti-malware software--e.g., Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)--has been disabled, it is likely that malware is responsible. Many computer security threats target the security systems first so they can wreak havoc without being hampered. To verify your Symantec Endpoint Protection client is working correctly, you can check the small yellow shield icon in the bottom right (in the task bar). When SEP is working correctly, the shield will have a green dot. If this dot is any other color or you do not see the icon at all, your computer could be infected with malware.

(A healthy SEP client)

Computer is running very slowly
Malware has a tendency to slow down your computer, your internet speed or the speed of your applications. If your computer has been infected by malware, it could be running tasks that take up resources, making your computer system run slower than usual. If you notice something like this and you are not using any resource-heavy applications, your computer might be infected with malware.

Pop-ups
Unexpected pop-ups that appear on your system are a typical sign of a malware infection. If you begin getting pop-ups even when you are not on the internet, your computer could be infected with malware. If you encounter alarming pop-up messages while surfing the internet, watch out! These pop-ups are often scams to trick you into downloading software (or call a bogus technical support center) that can jeopardize the safety of your computer. If these messages did not come from your own anti-virus application (Symantec Endpoint Protection), do not trust it!

Browser redirection
Not every site redirect is malicious, but if you find that trying to reach Google takes you to an unfamiliar search site, you've almost certainly got a problem. Sometimes the redirection is more subtle. For example, a banking Trojan might divert your browser to a fraudulent site that looks just like your bank's real site. In that case your only clue is the unfamiliar URL in the address bar. If you go to a website that normally looks a certain way and suddenly the website looks different the next time you visit it, your system could be infected with malware.

Your computer continues to crash
If your programs or your system regularly crashes or the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appears regularly, it is a clear warning that your system is not working properly and it could be infected with malware. In most cases your computer is dealing with a technical issue caused by a potential incompatibility between your programs but sometimes this behavior could be related to a malware infection. Most malware tampers with important files that halt your computer and prevent it from running properly. This could cause your computer to crash. If your computer crashes when you try to run a specific application or open a particular file, this tells you that something has corrupted the data. It could be malware.

*If you are experiencing signs of infection, please contact the service desk at 984-974-4357 for immediate assistance.*

Filed under: