Malware can strike at any moment. As long as you have external data coming into your device, you are susceptible to malware. Emails, newly installed programs, or even simple internet browsing – all can lead to malware sneaking into your system.
How can you tell if your device has malware? Here are some warning signs to watch out.
A Sudden Slowness
One of the easiest signs to spot is the sudden sluggishness or slowness of your device. Think of it this way – you use your computer regularly. When it suddenly starts acting up (longer loading times, freezing, crashes), something changed recently. It could be a file recently downloaded, a program installed, or a website you browsed.
The most common solution is to retrace your steps. If you recently installed a program, removing it can solve the issue. Deleting any downloaded files and running scans can also fix this problem. Worst-case scenario, you may have to reformat your device, which can take a long amount of time. Before you do something that drastic however, undoing any recent changes can save your device from a hard reset.
A Sudden Change
Another sign of a potential malware presence is a sudden change in your device. It could be in the form of a new file, folder, or program that you did not create. If it seems like it appeared out of the blue, then you may be in trouble.
With malware that creates items on your device, the easiest way to fix this is to reformat. For those who want to retain their files, running scans can help – but you may risk not solving the issue completely. A hard reset may seem like a huge step, but it wipes your entire device clear, giving you a fresh slate. This also removes all files, as well as any malware hiding among them.