6 Signs That Your PC/Laptop is Infected With Malware

by Robert Best on September 9, 2020
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six Signs That Your PC/Laptop is Infected With Malware

350,000 malware versions are identified every day. While your business might have protection in place does that protection cover your staff's PC or laptop?

As many businesses continue to work remotely it's likely you have personal devices connected to your network. If those devices are used for more than work purposes there is a danger they could become infected with malware.

It's possible that your staff won't even realise their device is infected before they connect to your network. To help here are 6 signs that your PC or laptop is infected with malware.

Pop-Up Ads

Malware causes pop-up ads and various kinds of messages to show on your device. This form of malware is known as spyware. It is designed to steal your sensitive data without your knowledge.

In the case of pop-up ads, the ads themselves are not the main issue. It's removing them from your system that is difficult. The pop-ups are very annoying and they usually come bundled with other concealed types of malware that can be more destructive to your device.

They could be disguised as legitimate programs and track your web browsing data or monitor your online activity to collect passwords and other personal information. Never click on the pop-up ads.

Antivirus disabled

Your real-time protection might be disabled. A full scan with an anti-malware program is essential. If you have notices your antivirus software isn't working anymore or the update option is disabled, you should check out ways to fix this straight away.

Some types of malware can disable your antivirus software. The malware is designed to leave you without any defence and unable to detect new malware.

If you have already tried to reboot your computer and you have also closed and opened the security solution and all your troubleshooting efforts seemed useless, it's likely your device has been infected with malware.

Without this protection, you can get exposed to all kind of attacks, and we strongly recommend enhancing your protection by adding multiple layers of protection.

New icons are added to your desktop

Malware adding icons and toolbars that you didn’t set up is just the tip of the iceberg. If unknown programs load when you turn on your computer or another connected device, turn it off.

It is probably a malware infection that was installed previously with some other software.

If you’ve been noticing unknown and new icons on your PC, you most likely downloaded by accident these sneaky programs called PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).

Pups are malicious programs that can do a lot of damage and expose you to data breaches. They can also lead to the ad pop-ups mentioned earlier and adding toolbars on your browser.

Web browser acting out of control

Browser hijacking is a form of malware which makes your web browser begin to act weird. If you are noticing unusual behaviour in your web browser or a new toolbar has appeared from nowhere these are signs of malware.

This usually occurs when you visit a website and you click on a link or a pop-up window which turns out to be malicious. This triggers unwanted software to install on your device. Like most malware, the effects are annoying as well as dangerous to your device.

Your friends complain about spam

Accounts can be used to send spam messages to your contact list and spread malware to your friends' computers.

Malware focused on Facebook and other social media sites spreads by generating fake posts. Typically, these posts include an inflammatory statement of some kind. Anyone who falls for the fake and clicks the link becomes the malware's next victim.

If something like this happened, take immediate action by following these security measures:

  • Log out from all your social accounts. Make sure to log out from your online accounts on all your connected devices not just on your PC or laptop.
  • Use unique and strong passwords for all your online accounts. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts and remember to change them regularly.
  • Start using multi-factor authentication (MFA). You will instantly increase your security. MFA is a second security layer that will ask for an extra authentication step in the login process.

PC running slowly

Are your files and apps taking a long time to load? Is your computer taking a long time to start and runs slowly once it does? If so, it’s possible malware has infiltrated your operating system.

Malware uses up available system resources leaving less space for other legitimate programs to operate normally. One of malware’s main activity is to slow down your operating system, no matter if you’re browsing the web or simply accessing your local applications.

The slowing down of a PC doesn't automatically mean you have malware. Check your task manager and see if applications are using up large amounts of your RAM.

How to protect your devices

To keep your computer away from malicious threats, make sure you apply these IT security measures:

  • Do not click on pop-up windows.
  • Do not answer unsolicited emails that look strange. Always verify the sender’s email address and never open attachments or click weird links.
  • Be very careful when you are trying to download free applications.
  • Use a next-gen threat prevention solution that identifies online dangers and blocks them before they get the chance to infect your PC.


One of the biggest dangers of remote working is letting personal devices access your business network. If these devices are being used outside of work then they are at risk of infection from malware.

If you are concerned that devices on your business network might be infected then try our free IT audit. We will check through your IT infrastructure and either give you a clean bill of health or discovery issues that need to be fixed. Either way your business benefits.

Click here for more information on our free IT audit, or email hello@infotech.co.uk or call us on 01634 52 52 52.

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