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Computer Running Slow? 4 Major Warning Signs That Your Computer May Have A Virus

published 1/24/2020

Personal computers first started appearing in the mid-1970s, but the term PC would not be popularized until the early 1980s. As with many technologies, the creation of the personal computer has spawned a new generation of con artists and thieves.

One of the biggest tools of the trade for cybercriminals is known as a virus. There are many viruses out there, capable of causing many different problems, but our computers tend to react similarly to most of them.

If you suspect your computer might have a virus, you'll want to keep your eyes open for a few signs. We'll talk more about some of these signs in the paragraphs below.

A Note on 'Fake' Viruses

You may have had an experience where you go to a website that loudly alerts you to a virus on your computer. There's usually a phone number on the same page that claims to be a repair service or tech support.

You may have also gotten a phone call or been contacted in some way by someone claiming to be a major computer company saying they will fix your computer.

Do not listen to them. Your computer does not advertise when it has a virus. Most hackers and other scammers would prefer you don't know when you have a virus.

The phone number is the number of a hacker or scammer. Under the guise of tech support, they will try to get into your computer and get access to your files or charge you for 'fixing' something that's not really a virus.

Also, a major tech company will never call you and will rarely send you emails. It's also important to check if anything is misspelled or the company name seems off.

For instance, any company called Microsoft Industries is not Microsoft. Hackers will often use names very similar to trusted companies to throw off targets. They can't use the actual name of the company because it's trademarked and they could get sued.

The waters are muddied even further by the fact that copyright and trademark law differs from place to place. For instance, while you can easily sue another American for trademark infringement under US law, it's harder for other countries.

One of the best examples of this is Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the few nations that the US does not have copyright agreements with. As a result, you can't sue if your company is being impersonated by a scammer in Ethiopia.

1. Pop-ups

An actual sign of a virus is unwanted pop-ups. Viruses can cause all sorts of mayhem when on your computer, and one of the most common things they do is bring up random ads.

If this happens, you mustn't follow the ads. These may lead to illegitimate sites that could infect your computer with even more viruses.

If this problem occurs, it might help to look into your computer's extension manager. From there, you can disable any extensions you don't want or didn't install. This will often make the pop-ups stop.

2. Running Slowly

Slow operation is another sign that a virus may have infected your computer. This usually occurs because the virus is carrying out other processes. These processes are overloading your computer and causing it to slow down.

Slow running doesn't necessarily mean you have a virus. Your computer may slow down because it's occupied with something you told it to do, like downloading a very large file or some other task. This can also occur because you have too many programs open, too many browser tabs or too little memory on your computer.

If your computer's speed doesn't seem to be caused by the above, the next step is to check your network traffic using the task manager.

If a program you didn't install is using a lot of data or bandwidth, you may have a virus.

3. Redirected to Other Sites

If you try to get onto the internet, and your computer redirects you to a website you didn't intend to go to, you may have a virus. Oftentimes, viruses will take you to unfamiliar and often dangerous sites to do more damage to your computer and siphon more money out of you.

The best way to stop this from happening is anti-phishing software. These types of software are designed to stop your computer from being directed to dangerous websites and to keep your personal information safe.

You may also try contacting the owner of these websites to let them know that dangerous software and links are on the site. Keep in mind that many of these sites are purposefully crooked, so the owner might not do anything. However, it does occasionally happen that a legitimate website accidentally becomes dangerous.

4. Your Anti-virus Has Been Shut Down

For obvious reasons, many viruses and other harmful programs will try to shut down your anti-virus programs and prevent you from opening them back up.

You can fix this by going to your Windows security center if you have windows, and using notifications and dialogue boxes to solve it.

Restarting your computer or using a portable scanner may also help.

How to Spot a Virus

Viruses are a common problem with computers. The good news is that a computer with a virus will often display certain 'symptoms.'

We've mentioned some of the most common symptoms in the paragraphs above, but there are others. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you're interested.

If you want to know more about computer repair please visit one of our stores. You may also be interested in the new law regarding robocalls.