9 Signs Your Computer Has Malware

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March 14, 2023

Malware is an insidious form of software attack that can cause significant damage to a computer system. It is usually spread by downloading malicious software, visiting compromised websites, or clicking on suspicious links. 

Dangerous programs can steal personal information and disrupt the normal functioning of a computer. If left unchecked, malware may become difficult to remove and lead to data loss or identity theft.

Luckily, there are several warning signs that can indicate a device has been infected with malware. By recognizing these symptoms early on, you will be able to take action and help prevent serious damage from occurring. The following are Signs Your Computer Has Malware.

9 Signs Your Computer Has Malware

1. Unfamiliar Programs Installed: 

Unrecognized and unknown programs that suddenly appear on your device may be indications of malware activity. 

Suppose you see any unfamiliar programs and similar file types listed in your installed applications or active processes. In that case, it’s best to scan your system for potential threats immediately.

2. Performance Issues: 

A sudden decrease in the performance of your PC could mean that there is malicious software running in the background, taking up resources and slowing down your system’s speed. 

High CPU usage, long boot times, unexpected crashes, and other issues could be caused by malicious code on your computer as well.

3. Pop-up Ads: Random pop-ups appearing out of nowhere are one of the most common signs of malware infections on computers today. 

Malware creators use this tactic to try and get users to click on their ads which can then lead to further infections or ransomware attacks if clicked on unknowingly.

4. Unwanted Redirects: If you often find yourself being redirected randomly while using the internet, then it is likely that you have malicious processes active in the computer’s background, which has taken control over your browsing session without your knowledge. 

This calls for learning how to remove Search Baron from Mac, how to get rid of AdWare, and other browser hijacking nuisances. 

Be sure to run a virus scan as soon as possible if you notice this frequently happening when online.

5. Changes Made Without Permission: 

Any changes made to your operating system or settings without prior warning (such as a changed browser homepage or default search engine) could point to a potential malware issue.

Check for any modifications that were done without explicit permission from yourself before continuing any further.

6. Security Warnings & Antivirus Alerts: 

Your antivirus should alert you whenever it detects something suspicious happening on your computer. 

If this happens often, then chances are good that there is malware present that needs immediate attention. 

Additionally, warnings about security certificates not being verified or valid could also mean an infection has occurred – so always be careful when viewing any website with such messages displayed prominently.

7. Unusual Network Activity

If you notice unusual amounts or types of data streaming through your network connection (for example, very large files being sent unexpectedly), then it may indicate that a malicious piece of software is attempting to communicate with its command & control server remotely via the network interface card (NIC). 

Be mindful here and consider blocking any related traffic that is detected.

8. Email Spam Messages Sent From Your Account: 

Another telltale sign of a potential malware infection would be receiving an influx of spam emails coming from accounts used by yourself before.

This could mean either those accounts were hacked into directly or hijacked through an existing infection already present on the machine itself. 

Either way – act quickly if noticing anything like this regularly occurring within emails sent out from known addresses owned by yourself previously.

9. Suspicious Files & Folders Found On The System: 

Finally – keep an eye out for any strange files found in directories where they shouldn’t usually exist (e.g. “temp” folders), especially if they contain extensions other than what might be considered typical program downloads (.exe,.txt,.zip, etc.). 

These could indicate the presence of malicious software attempting either to hide away within folders not normally visible through regular means or even gain access to more sensitive parts such as user profiles.


Recognizing these warning signs early will help ensure you don’t end up dealing with severe data loss due to a successful attack from malicious software later down the line – ultimately saving both time and effort in having to clean up after such incidents occur too. 

So remember – never ignore warnings since they can mean much more than just annoying ads popping up – they could put vital personal information at risk too.

Saher Mahmood

Saher Mahmood


Saher is a cybersecurity researcher with a passion for innovative technology and AI. She explores the intersection of AI and cybersecurity to stay ahead of evolving threats.

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