Nothing can quite ruin your day like finding out your computer has a virus.
Even before you’re aware of a virus infecting your computer, you may be dealing with frustrating symptoms. These symptoms can be either obvious or discreet, but are generally always harmful.
If you suspect that your computer has been infected with a virus, it is important that you act quickly to address the problem before it gets any worse.
Some viruses will cause damage to more than your computer and may be used to obtain personal information about you or even , to steal your identity.
For these reasons it is important to have a good understanding of common computer virus symptoms.
How to Tell if your Computer Has a Virus
If your computer has a virus, it will more than likely begin showing certain symptoms which will indicate that it has a virus, as well as, what type of virus it may be.
Here is a list of 20 computer virus symptoms or indicators that your computer may have a virus.
1.Your Computer Slows Down
One of the most common computer virus symptoms is slow down. You can know that your computer has been affected by malware if your operating system, computer applications, and internet speed begin to slow down. If you note such a tendency and you’re not running heavy applications or programs, there may be cause for alarm.
If your system crash suddenly appears or the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appears more often, then it’s obvious that your computer isn’t operating normally and you should check it.
One of the most annoying computer virus symptoms is characterized by unwanted pop-ups. If these unexpected pop-ups appear on your system, know that your computer has probably been affected by spyware/virus/malware.
4.Hard Drive Malfunction
In case you have discovered that your hard disk is exhibiting unusually high activity even when you aren’t using it, consider checking for malware. However, hard disk malfunction can also be caused by hardware failure.
5.Running Out of Storage Space
Computer virus symptoms can be triggered by numerous malicious software through different methods to fill your storage space and may eventually cause it to crash.
6.Unwanted Programs or Messages That Start Automatically
Some of the warning signs that you should be suspicious about include:
- Windows shutting down suddenly without reason
- Programs opening or closing automatically
- Strange windows as you boot
- Message from windows that you lost access to your drive
7.Disabled Security Solution
In case your antivirus doesn’t seem to work or if your update module all of a sudden is disabled, make sure that you check what has happened as soon as possible. There are some types of malware that are built to disable computer security solutions and leave your machine defenseless.
8.Sending Strange Messages Automatically
The first step is to confirm whether the messages were sent from your account. However, if you discover that you weren’t the sender, then the messages were sent by an uncontrollable application.
9.Unusual Network Activity
Sometimes you may not be connected to the internet, and you aren’t running any applications that can connect themselves to the internet, but you still observe high network activity. Such computer virus symptoms can be confirmed by using a good antivirus.
If you have tried to start applications from the start menu or desktop of your computer and nothing happens, then your computer may be infected.
Your computer will know when something is wrong even before you do. One of the noticeable computer virus symptoms includes messages that warn you of missing files.
Ads are common when browsing. However, when you see them when not browsing, this could be a sign of a virus.
13.Hardware and Accessory Problems
In case you have problems with your computer display, for instance color problems or mixing pixels, this can be an indication of malware in your computer. Sometimes network printers also malfunction if they become infected.
Viruses can be spread via emails. Therefore, if you note that there are emails in your outbox that you never sent or you receive suspicious emails from a friend, they may be infected.
Computer viruses can cause your computer to do all kind of strange things. When your computer starts to open files on its own, or acts like keys have been clicked, then you may be experiencing computer virus symptoms.
Some viruses are created to affect some applications, and as a result your computer may fail to run such applications until they are reinstalled.
17.Blocked From Antivirus Sites
If your computer has been infected by malicious viruses, your computer may be prevented from accessing antivirus sites. Viruses attack browsers and may inhibit them from using the internet normally.
18.Gibberish Dialog Boxes
If your computer opens up many dialog boxes on your screen all at once, this can be a sign of malware. Most of the dialog boxes show gibberish messages that aren’t easily decoded.
If your computer suddenly experiences a slow startup most likely it has become infected. There is the typical time your computer takes before it starts and you can note when your computer starts slower than usual.
If your printer seems to have a mind of its own and randomly prints documents, you could possibly be dealing with a virus.
Fake Virus Alerts
If you have not yet come across a fake virus alert, you are definitely in the minority. Ironically, these fake alerts try to deceive you into downloading a Virus or Malware to your Computer.
In general though, if you see a virus alert that does not come from anti virus software you installed on your Computer, it is probably fake. If it shows up in your web browser , asking you to call some number, its also almost certainly fake.
Sometimes these lead to elaborate extortion schemes. The best thing to do if you are not sure? Take a screenshot of the alert and send it to whoever provides support for your PC.
Can a Printer Catch a Virus?
Technically, Yes. But in practise not really. There are several viruses that send print jobs to your printer without your input, and many people erroneously think the actual printer has a Virus.
Now as more and more printers are connected directly to the network, and many of these printers have their own Operating Systems, it is quite possible that we’ll see a rise in viruses and malware targeted at Printers.
Can a Computer Mouse Catch a Virus?
Once again, the answer is technically yes, but this one is a real stretch. If your mouse is misbehaving, try using it on another computer. If it still misbehaves, the mouse likely has a hardware problem. If on the other hand, the mouse works right on a different PC, then the original PC may have an issue with the mouse driver (unlikely) or a virus/malware.
Computer Virus Pictures
Really? Were you expecting to see pictures of a malicious program that exists on your PC? Ok..the pictures don’t exist. Sorry to disappoint you.
How to Protect Yourself from a Computer Virus
There are a lot of preventative measures that you can take to protect your computer from catching a virus. Using anti-malware and anti-virus software are among two of the most common preventative measures used. Also maintain a backup of your files to minimize the potential permanent damage of a computer virus or malware ,which could corrupt or delete your files.
Firewalls can be helpful in preventing Virus/Malware attacks. It is also wise to always be very cautious when opening emails or clicking on suspicious links, websites, or pop-ups.
If you suspect your Computer already has a Virus :
- Start your computer in safe mode and run an anti-virus scan of your entire computer.
- Refer to your computer software supplier’s customer support team to see if they offer any tools or resources to extract the virus from your computer.
- Be sure to delete all of your temporary files in safe mode.
- Use Malware software to scan for additional threats to your computer and security.