Just one PC infected with malware can quickly spread that infection to all other connected devices. Time is of the essence when detecting and removing viruses and malware in order to mitigate the damage.
In 2020, 61% of surveyed companies were victims of malware activity that spread from one employee device to another, and in 2021, that number has risen to 74%.
Several factors have contributed to the increase in the machine-to-machine spread of malware. These include:
- More sophisticated phishing attacks
- Overworked employees may overlook a strange PC behavior because they don’t have time to investigate
- Remote employees may not have sufficient PC monitoring & management
- Phishing has now morphed to include text and social media phishing attacks
The sooner you have a computer checked for any strange behaviors, the better chance you have of shutting down malware before it spreads throughout your network, causing costly downtime.
26% of SMBs say their per-hour cost of downtime is between $10,000 to $20,000.
If you or your employees have any of the following things happening, you should get the computer checked right away, because you could have a malware infection.
Your Home Page Has Been Changed
One of the big red flags of an adware infection is to have your homepage suddenly changed. Hackers put in code that will change your system home page setting and redirect it to a spam or phishing site.
If directed to a phishing site, you could easily get caught clicking a dangerous link that’s hidden behind an “X” or “close” button, causing your device to get even more infected.
If your computer is rebooting unexpectedly, this may not just be age. It could be a malware infection that is causing the reboot in order to complete malicious code installation.
Malware could also be removing certain system resources, and your PC is rebooting due to an internal error. Either way, you should get this checked out right away.
Your System Makes a Processing Sound More Than it Should
When we are working on a computer and doing a memory-intensive activity (like rendering a video, for example) the device will usually have a processing sound of some type. This should be short-lived and only happen when doing such an activity.
If you are hearing this sound when you’re not doing anything particularly memory-intensive or if it doesn’t go away and is persistent, it could be that your system is dealing with malware code running in the background and taking up your resources.
Strange Error Messages are Popping Up
Another potential sign of malware is if you see strange error messages popping up on your screen.
One type of malware can make you think that your antivirus is out of date and may have a link to update it. But the window that pops up is generic and doesn’t have the name of the antivirus you actually have.
Other warnings might look like internal system warnings, but ones that you haven’t seen before.
If you see any error messages that you don’t recognize, you should not click on them, instead, contact us and send us a screenshot. We can help you identify whether or not you may have a virus.
The computer is Suddenly Slower Than It Should Be
If your PC is suddenly becoming sluggish, this is another common symptom of a malware infection. Malware may eat up storage space and memory, thus depleting your resources and causing your system to freeze up and become slow.
It’s a good idea to check your storage and see if it looks suspiciously full. You should also have a PC tune-up, which can catch any malware that might be to blame and get your system cleaned up.
Files Are Lost or Getting Corrupted
Certain types of malware, such as ransomware, can attack your files. If you are experiencing files that are disappearing or that won’t open because your system states they are corrupted, you may have a malware infection.
It’s best to always have your files backed up offsite through a cloud backup, so they can be retrieved should you have a malware infection that causes file loss on your hard drive.
If you experience missing or corrupted files, this is another red flag that you need to have your device checked for malware by a professional.
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