As you use your computer, you may notice that over time, its performance may degrade. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as hardware that may be outdated, some files may be corrupted, or worse, malware or viruses have invaded your machine. The latter cannot be helped with as many users continue to use the internet and may have accidentally infected their computer while downloading seemingly harmless files.
Signs of an infected computer
The signs that show when a computer is infected can be confusing with one that is simply slower because of hardware issues. These are some of them:
- Program crashing – Some programs which used to work normally whenever you use them may now be not functioning at all. Commonly, these are applications which have access to the internet. This is because some viruses may be targeting the data you store inside your computer and is using these applications to send it back to their database
- Slower computer performance – When almost all of the loading screens of your computer takes double the time it used to have back then without any gradual progress, it is almost assured that your computer is suffering from a virus. This is best seen with bitcoin viruses which convert your computer into a bitcoin manner. To make the online cryptocurrency, the virus uses the RAM of your computer. Other processes of it will then suffer an immense blow in terms of performance. Most often, the only solution left will be to do a full reformat
What are the dangers of having viruses on your computer?
There are a lot of dangers involved with having viruses on your computer. From significantly reducing the performance of your computer up to having your files taken by a third party, all of the possible effects of it on your machine are negative. These include the following:
- Significant decrease in performance – As stated above, viruses can significantly decrease the performance of your computer. This can be seen in a variety of ways including applications having a hard time in terms of processing, your computer opening very slowly, and some applications may even crash while you are using them. If the virus doesn’t intend to make your computer slower, it may do other malicious things to it instead
- Loss of information – Some malicious files are targeted towards your information. Because the computer is naturally stored with usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other relevant information, some hackers put software that specifically targets these. Once they have access to this, they can then use steal your credentials for identity theft or credit card theft. This should be addressed immediately as a variety of acts can be done by the hacker if left unnoticed
- Bitcoin mining software – Some of these applications can turn your computer into a literal bitcoin miner. These are currencies which people use to transact online while hiding their identity. Although fully digital, the currency has real-world value and can be used to purchase things. To mine them, one must have several computers continuously processing with their RAM in an act called “mining”. Once your computer is turned into one of these, you may notice a severe decrease in computer speed mainly pointed to its memory
- Damaged files – The computer can also damage the applications that are currently installed in the PC. It can delete and rename specific files within the computer as to confuse its users. It can also open and close the program whenever it wants without the user’s consent. It may even begin typing random words while you are using the computer. In short, it can take away the freedom of the user to control the machine
- Total disable – The computer can also fully be disabled by the virus. The hacker can simply destroy the software of your computer without any reasons. Instead of tampering with your files, it can target its operating system instead and make it unable to be used. In this case, the only thing left to do is to do a full reformat which deletes all of the files inside the computer