What is malware
Many people may have heard the term “malware,” but may not know what exactly that word really means. In short, malware is a written piece of malicious software that is intended to damage or even disable a person’s computer.
Where malware comes from
Malware can be installed on a desktop PC, laptop or even a Mac computer without a person’s knowledge or consent. Malware is usually installed after being downloaded from the Internet. Opening suspicious e-mails, downloading toolbars, installing free online games, downloading trial software, using a torrent site for file sharing of music, videos or software etc. or perhaps visiting a website which has been hacked, can all lead to these types of malicious software infections becoming installed on an individual’s computer.
How to recognize signs of malware infection
There are several ways to indentify the presence of a malware infestation. Here are several symptoms to look for:
- Computer Performance Slowdowns
- Slow or Freezing Internet Service
- Unwanted Advertising Pop-Ups
- Program or System Crashes
- A Different Browser Homepage Than What You Previously Had
- Toolbars That Suddenly Appear on A Web Browser
- Being Directed to Strange Websites
- Unknown Icons Suddenly Appearing on Your Desktop
- Your Antivirus Security Program Has Suddenly Become Disabled
- Friends Tell You That They Are Receiving Strange Messages from You
- You Are Unable to Access Certain Areas of Your Computer
What to do if your computer becomes infected
If you suspect your computer has become infected with a virus or malware, contact P&M Computer Services immediately. My best advice would be to stop using your computer and to turn it off until I am able to remove the infestation. The longer you wait, the greater the possibility of the infection causing more damage to your system and it could take longer to successfully purge any virus or malware hiding in your PC or Mac.