A laptop is perhaps one of the most useful and efficient tools one could have, especially in today’s times. After all, most – if not all – our tasks when it comes to work, school, and play can be done with having a desktop or a laptop by our side. You can make detailed reports, research papers, documents and files, play games, create and produce content, and a whole host of other tasks with a laptop alone. As such, having it infected with a virus can be very detrimental to a lot of things you may be able to do with it. Not to mention, having your laptop compromised can have your files and personal documents put to risk as well. Just how will you be able to determine if your laptop has a virus?
It might help to look at how a few statistics can shed some light on cybersecurity first. For instance, did you know that 24-percent of systems are actually unprotected from malware and viruses? Unprotected laptops and PCs are devices that aren’t protected by up-to-date software, which also leaves them 5.5-times likelier to be infected by viruses. This is especially when it comes to viruses that are “activated” when opening malicious documents such as Word documents and PDFs that are sent in emails. Reasons why systems can be compromised include antivirus software trials ending, antivirus software being disabled by malware, and sometimes users themselves aren’t aware of how important antivirus software are.
Laptop Virus: What You Need To Know
It’s important to take into consideration various elements that come into play whenever you have a laptop with you. Aside from files you create and interact with, there are always files you access over the internet or from other users. Services like OrphanLaptops can make it convenient for you to get yourself laptops that could do all these tasks, and potentially more based on how you want your workflow optimized. While most of these files are given to you without any ill intentions, some evildoers and malicious entities do have criminal reasons for wanting to access your personal files, and you should be one step ahead in order to foil their plans. Thankfully, there are ways for you to be able to find out if your laptop actually has a virus:
- Are you having slow performance and slow startup times? It’s a usual indicator of a virus if your computer takes much longer than normal to boot, and when programs take too long before they even open. Try to check if this is because you have low disk space or RAM. Sometimes slow performance is a result of having too many things in your system. If this is not because of either two (2), then a virus might be present in your system.
- Are you getting unexpected pop-ups even when tasks don’t need them? When you see unexpected advertisements on your screen, it’s usually a sign that you have a virus. Sometimes, when advertisements suddenly pop up, they’re usually an indicator that there’s malware somewhere in your system that needs fixing. As much as possible, don’t click on suspicious pop-ups that say there’s a “virus” in your computer. These are normally examples of rogueware, which asks you to buy a program that removes a “fake” virus, which oftentimes mean malware “to remove’ will be downloaded into your system.
- Are your hard disk drives suddenly being active? Try to observe if your hard disk is becoming more active as of late. See if it constantly spins or generates noise even when you’re not using too many programs in your computer. This is usually a sign that a virus is running and is doing things with your system that you’re not exactly aware of. In speaking of,
- Are you experiencing incredibly high network activity? Another sign you might be having a virus on the loose is if your internet connection appears very active. You can notice this if you see your system consuming incredibly high bandwidth. Unfortunately, this might indicate it’s sending information back and forth all over the internet.
- Is there a suspicious lack of storage space? If you’re paranoid about your disk space, you’re likely going to constantly look at it while you’re installing files or programs. If you suddenly check your disk space and notice there isn’t enough, when there should be, then you’re dealing with a possible virus. One of the good measures to do here is to uninstall unnecessary programs that you might have, or delete unnecessary files in your system to save space.
- Are there missing files in your system? Another indicator of a virus is if there are actually missing files in your system. A lot of malware can cause problems for users by deleting important programs and files, or even just moving them around your computer. Other bad viruses even encrypt your important files so you’re unable to access them properly.
- Are you getting weird error messages and crashes? Another sign of a virus is if your programs are actually starting and then suddenly closing. Observe if your computer is suddenly freezing at times, or if you’re noticing a forced shutdown. This might likely indicate that there’s a virus lurking around the system and you need to deal with it immediately.
The Takeaway: Does Your Laptop Have A Virus?
Having a virus with your laptop can be an extremely inconvenient thing to experience. After all, not only are some viruses hard to eliminate, but they can potentially compromise relevant files and information in your system. Thankfully, you can actually teach yourself good safety measures and precautions that could help you identify if your laptop has a virus. Always remember the tips above, and keep a keen eye on things that could otherwise be considered “sketchy” for your laptop to do.