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How to Know if You Have Malware

In our last post we told you about the best ways to keep your computer safe from malware. Safe browsing habits, keeping your computer up to date, and using a few basic software tools like an antivirus program with real-time monitoring, a backup antivirus scanner, and a few basic browser extensions will all go a long way toward keeping your computer safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, just as with real germs, it isn’t always possible to avoid every infection. Sometimes, even when you take every precaution to keep your hands and your work space clean and avoid sharing breathing space with people who are sick, you still end up catching that cold that’s going around the office. The same goes for your computer. Sometimes, even if you’re doing everything right, you can still find yourself bogged down with malware. So the big question is, how do you know if your PC is infected, and what do you do about it?

While your computer won’t get a fever or the sniffles or complain of a tummy ache, there are still symptoms that can let you know that something is going on. In this post, we’re going to help you know what to look for, what you can do to get your computer working normally again, and how to know when you need to get it checked out by a professional - like the skilled PC repair techs at Phone Medics Plus.

The Symptoms

One of the first clues that something is wrong is if your computer starts running much slower than normal. Unlike most commercial software, malware isn’t usually designed to make the best use of your system’s resources. It can use excessive amounts of RAM or overwork your processor, taking resources away from the software you use regularly, and causing your PC to run noticeably slower than it did before.

Other major clues can show up in your web browsing experience. Ads - including intrusive pop-up ads - are an unfortunate reality of life on the internet, but if you suddenly start seeing pop-up ads on websites where you didn’t see them before, or if you start seeing pop-up ads even when you aren’t using your web browser, it’s a good bet you have malware. Other malware can add unwanted toolbars to your web browser, or redirect your internet searches to advertising websites you did not intend to visit.

The Treatment

So, if you believe your computer is infected with malware, what do you do about it? Well, as it turns out, some of our tools for preventing malware infections are also good for getting rid of it, too. If you believe you have malware on your system, your first line of defense should be to run your primary virus scanner, whether that’s Windows Defender, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, or another tool.

Once your primary antivirus program has done its work, it’s a good idea to fire up that secondary scanner we advised you to install before. No antivirus software is perfect, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup. Running a new scan with your backup antivirus program will help you either confirm that your primary software got all the infected files, or identify and remove any threats that may have been missed.

Unfortunately, though, some malware can be very persistent, which means that even after you’ve scanned and cleaned your system with your primary and backup antivirus programs, you can still see symptoms of an infection. If that happens, then it’s time to call in the professionals. So if persistent malware is bogging you down, the skilled technicians at Phone Medics Plus have the tools to get your computer clean and healthy and running smoothly again. You can call us, book an appointment online, or bring your computer to our repair facility at 91 E. Merritt Island Causeway in Merritt Island.


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