How to tell if my Computer has a Virus

what-is-malware.jpgHow to tell if my Computer has a Virus 

More and more we are sharing our personal data online, there is so much of information accessible through online and our personal digital profiles are becoming more and more lucrative, your credit card details, personal information and other sensitive data is very much on the scope for plenty of people out there chasing down your personal information to use for a variety of reasons.

How do they do it?

There are a variety of methods to attain your data and use this in a number of ways. Your own personal due diligence is the most important aspect to take into account, however its difficult in this day and age with scams and software becoming more advanced and sophisticated. 

There are many subtle ways your personal information can be stolen and accessed digitally, commonly know as Malware, Malicious software which is installed onto your PC without your knowledge, they serve a varity of fuctions designed to attack your PC and steal your information, the most common ones are included below. 

ADWARE

Adware delivers pop up ads on your computer or modifies your internet search browser. It is not uncommon for Adware to be bundled with Spyware (see below).

BOTS

Bots are designed to take control of your computer remotely and use your computer for malicious purposes, such as distributing spam, or enabling illegal distribution of Malware under your personal IP address. Bots are the reason why you will see on most website forms these day a to ensure you are indeed a person interacting with their website.

BUGS

Bugs can vary in severity, some may just make your computer performance lag, some will cause your PC to crash while others can be far more detrimental and have the ability to bypass security, override user authorisation essentially stealing your personal accounts, including, email, social media and other personal accounts. 

RANSOMWARE

Ransomware is becoming more and more common place, it essentially holds a computer system to ransom and the demands money or bitcoin to provide the permissions and data back to the system owner. They can replicate themselves meaning they are very hard to remove completely. More on Ransomware

ROOTKIT

Rootkit's are designed to enable remote access to your computer without being detected. Rootkits are very stealthy and hard to detect; they have the ability to disable security on your system and can perform a number of other fuctions. Frequently updating your PC is a good way to ensure Rootkits are less likely to be slipped onto your PC.

SPYWARE

Spyware is designed to be able to spy on a user without their knowledge. And can collect key strokes for passwords and account logins, including your banking details.

TROJANS

Trojans can disguise themselves as regular software programs and download, ever visited a site and a pop up appear offering to check your PC for free.. Sound great? However, it’s most likely a Trojan designed to trick you into downloading it. They are capable of installing any of the above mentioned Malware.

VIRUS

Virus are designed to self replicate and spread across multiple computers, they are very much designed to infect as many computers as possible and can damage programs, steal information, render illegal advert serving and more.

WORMS

Worms are similar to Viruses however there is one distinct difference, viruses require human activity to spread, a worm is independent and can spread without human interaction. They still contain a malicious software payload which can steal data and other sensitive information.

MALWARE SYMPTOMS

While these types of malware differ greatly in how they spread and infect computers, they all can produce similar symptoms. Computers that are infected with malware can exhibit any of the following symptoms:

• Increased CPU usage

• Slow computer or web browser speeds

• Problems connecting to networks

• Freezing or crashing

• Modified or deleted files

• Appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons

• Programs running, turning off, or reconfiguring themselves (malware will often reconfigure or turn off antivirus and firewall programs)

• Strange computer behavior

• Emails/messages being sent automatically and without user’s knowledge (a friend receives a strange email from you that you did not send).

MALWARE PREVENTION AND REMOVAL

There are several general best practices that organizations and individual users should follow to prevent malware infections. Some malware cases require special prevention and treatment methods, but following these recommendations will greatly increase a user’s protection from a wide range of malware:

• Install and run anti-malware and firewall software. When selecting software, choose a program that offers tools for detecting, quarantining, and removing multiple types of malware. At the minimum, anti-malware software should protect against viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, and worms.

• Keep software and operating systems up to date with current vulnerability patches. These patches are often released to patch bugs or other security flaws that could be exploited by attackers.

• Be vigilant when downloading files, programs, attachments, etc. Downloads that seem strange or are from an unfamiliar source often contain malware.

Its important to protect your online data, If you are experiencing any of these issues and need some assistance, contact a Geekmobile Tech.