Approximately 34% of businesses take a week or more to regain access to their data and systems after a malware attack. Don’t brush off this statistic as something that will only happen to others. These attacks can, and already have, hit Knoxville in the past. The aftermath of these harmful malware attacks drained the city of a substantial amount of money. Malware encompasses many different types of malicious code.  It can include:

  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Trojans
  • Adware
  • Key loggers
  • And more

The longer malware sits on your system unchecked, the more damage it can do. Most forms of malware have a directive built in to spread to as many systems as possible. So, if not caught and removed right away, one computer could infect ten more on the same network in no time. Early detection is critical so you can disconnect an infected device from your network and have it properly cleaned by a professional. Keep an eye out for these key warning signs of malware infection so you can jump into action and reduce your risk.


Some forms of malware can take on the disguise of being an antivirus app or warranty notice that pops up on your screen. Hackers try to mimic things that users may have seen from a legitimate program, so they’ll be more apt to click without thinking. If you begin to see a strange “renew your antivirus” subscription alert or a warranty renewal that doesn’t quite make sense, these could be signs that your PC is infected with adware or another type of malware.


Computers can become sluggish for several reasons, including having too many browser tabs open at once or running a memory-intensive program. But you’ll typically know your computer and the things that slow it down. This sluggish behavior could be an infection if you notice new sluggish behavior that is out of the ordinary. One example would be if you don’t have any programs open except Notepad or another simple app, yet you experience freezing. In addition, when malware runs in the background, it can often eat up system resources and cause your system to get sluggish.


Applications should not just crash out of the blue. There is always a reason. Either the software is faulty, and there’s been an issue with an update, or something else may be messing with that application’s files. Suppose you suddenly experience apps crashing, requiring you to restart the app or reboot your system. This continued crashing is another telltale sign that a virus, trojan, or malicious code has infiltrated your system. 


If you open your browser and land on a homepage that is not the one you usually see, have your PC scanned for malware right away. Redirecting a home page is a common ploy of certain types of malware. The malware will infect your system and change the system setting for your default browser home page. This redirection may lead you to a site filled with popup ads or another phishing site. Unfortunately, changing your homepage in your settings won’t fix the situation. So it’s essential to have the malware removed.


Another annoying trait of certain types of malicious code is to make your system reboot without warning. These sudden reboots can cause you to lose the work you’ve just done and can make it difficult to get anything done. Virus-induced reboots happen when malware is changing core system files behind the scenes. With files corrupted, your system becomes unstable and can often reboot unexpectedly.


If you find that a good deal of your hard drive space that used to be open is now gone, it could be a malware infection taking up your space. Some types of malware may make copies of files or introduce new files into your system. However, they will cleverly hide, so don’t expect to see the word “malware” on a file search. Instead, dangerous activities masked by a generic-sounding name will appear in your system. The goal is for you to mistake them for a typical system file.


If you open a file and find it corrupted, it could be a red flag that ransomware or malware has infected your system. While files can occasionally become corrupt for other reasons, this issue deserves a thorough malware scan if you see it.


Most of us are familiar with those “thinking sounds” when our computer is processing something memory intensive. In addition, you’ll usually hear whirring sounds that will go away once you finish that activity. If you begin hearing this processing sound when you’re not doing anything particularly intense on your computer, it could be a sign that malware is running in the background. Such activity should be examined ASAP! 



Free online malware and virus scans aren’t very reliable. Instead, come to PCS, where our professionals can ensure your system is cleaned correctly.







The article was used with permission from The Technology Press.