When a virus infects your computer, you may not know about it until it’s too late. Like a biological virus, the damage it does to your system can be minimized if it’s caught early on. Stopping a computer virus early is possible if you know what symptoms to look for. Is your PC infected? Here are four signs you’ve been hacked.
Fake Antivirus Message
This is a very deceptive strategy that’s fooled many PC users. This virus will manifest itself with a fake popup message pretending to be from your antivirus software. This message will “alert” you to a new computer virus found on your computer and provide you with steps you can take to “eliminate” the threat–when in actuality, following the fake instructions will make things worse. One of the best ways to not fall for a threat like this is to be familiar with your legitimate antivirus software. If the alert looks even slightly off, don’t click on it–when in doubt, back out. When you spot this sign, you should immediately seek out professional assistance from Michell Consulting Group (MCG).
Every once in a while you will click on a URL and it will legitimately redirect you to a different URL. There’s no reason for concern if you’re redirected to a company’s new official website after you clicked on the URL of their old site. However, if you’re experiencing lots of crazy and unexpected redirects that make no sense and take you to some pretty shady places, then your system has been hacked and you need to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.
The occasional popup ad is normal, albeit still annoying. What’s not normal is for every web page to load a popup ad, and for popup ads to spawn new popup ads; so much so that closing the popup windows feels like you’re playing a super annoying game of virtual Whack-a-Mole. This is a sure and in-your-face sign that your PC has been infected with a virus.
Finding New and Unexpected Software Installed on Your PC
Have you ever gone through the applications installed on your computer and found a program or two that you don’t recognize or remember installing? There’s a good chance that malware on your computer is responsible for downloading these mystery apps without your consent. As you can imagine, these bogus apps weren’t designed to improve the performance of your PC.
One way to find out what programs are activated upon PC startup (a characteristic of malicious apps) is to use Autoruns. When investigating your installed software, you may see a few legitimate apps that you’ve not heard of before. You only want to remove the bad apps from your system, not the good ones. You can double check with MCG if you’re unsure about deleting certain apps.
If you can confirm any of these signs on your PC, then you will want to quickly take care the threat before it spreads on your system, or even over your network. The surest way to eliminate a known virus is to turn off your PC, unplug it from the network, and call MCG at 305.592.5433 ext.2601.
Our technology professionals can take a look at your system and put a stop to any virus before it spreads. We can also help protect you from any current and future viruses on your network with our managed IT services, which includes remote monitoring. With MCG monitoring your system, we can spot and take care of any of these signs early on before they turn into a major problem that comprises your data and causes downtime.