There’s no denying the extreme frustration you can feel when your computer starts acting really sluggishly, and the normal things that you’re trying to accomplish suddenly seem like massive, impossible tasks. When this happens to you, you can feel like giving up. But I wanted to tell you about what you can do about this, as well as also telling you about some of the reasons why your computer can be working slowly, and how it can be a more serious problem than you thought. The advice I’m going to give you in this article is fairly simple to carry out, you won’t need to be an expert or have in-depth technical knowledge to be out of follow the steps which I’m going to tell you about.
The malicious software is installed on your computer, and then spreads itself throughout the system causing harm and damage. It’s important to understand how this happens so that you can do something about it. In the past, viruses were spread using floppy disks, and were quite limited in the damage they could cause. With the introduction of the Internet, and with modern computer users having a hard disk installed inside their computer, the opportunity to cause harm is now much greater. Add to this the additional financial incentives which are now available to hackers, and you can see where this kind of computer crime is rapidly on the rise. So now I am going to tell you how you can recognise if your computer has become infected, and what you can do to get rid of the infection.
One of the first indicators that you have been infected by malware is that your computer starts running very slowly. The reason for this is because the malware is actually hogging your computer’s resources, which should be available to the programs which you’re trying to run. It often takes processor time, uses memory, and heavily accesses the hard disk, causing your computer to run much more slowly than it should. All of these are vital, limited resources, which should be shared equally among the different programs operating on your computer.
Another sign would be general glitchiness, such as your Windows operating system crashing to a blue screen, or programs refusing to work as they should. In addition to this, you may see unexpected behaviours such as pop-up ads appearing apparently from nowhere.
All of these signs should be interpreted as flashing red signals, and you need to act on them immediately to limit the damage which has caused. The longer you leave it, the worse it will be, because infections spread, and once your system has been infected by one type of malware, it will lead to further infections by different types. Normally, the infection starts with either a worm, a virus, or a Trojan horse. These are the main categories of malicious software, but there are additional types which are hybrids. They all do a similar function, but they work in different ways.
A Trojan is a program which operates very much like the Trojan horse from ancient history, presenting an apparently desirable item, in this case a software program, which has a really hidden destructive intention. These programs appear to be useful or desirable to you, but are actually created with the purpose of causing damage. For instance, you may see a free game being offered on a website and download it, being unaware of the fact that the program is actually opening up access to your computer and allowing other infected programs to gain access and control over your system.
Viruses are types of programs which infect other software. They can attack any kind of software which you might want to use on your computer, and attach themselves. Then, if you transfer these files to any other computer, the viruses can spread. They do not just limit themselves to software, hackers are always looking for new ways of these viruses can spread, and they can even attach themselves to e-mails or other types of files that you may have thought were harmless.
A worm is a type of program that spreads itself from computer to computer without relying upon user action. While other types of malicious program need the computer user to do something insecure, such as download and execute a program, the worm does not depend on any such user behaviour. Instead, what it does is attack known holes and security exploits within operating systems, as well as the network software. By doing this, it is able to automatically spread itself from computer to computer, often without leaving any trace of its operation. These can be the most destructive types of malicious software because even if you are very experienced and know to avoid insecure practices, you can still be infected. As soon as these exploits are discovered, they are usually shared between different hackers across the entire hacker community. It will take some time before the operating system is patched to repair these security holes, and in that time a lot of computers can become infected.
Following the initial infection, the malware will then instruct your computer to download other harmful programs to further take control of your system. As an example, you may find that your computer was initially infected by a virus, which then instructed your computer to download spyware. Spyware is especially dangerous because it allows a hacker to observe all your behaviour on your computer, copying passwords, usernames, and even credit card details. Obviously this opens you up to a huge amount of potential criminal activity, and could potentially cost you a lot of money.
Another slightly less damaging, but still very annoying, practice is installing Adware onto people’s computers. Adware is used to generate revenue through advertising by hackers, and it usually works by popping up ads all over the user’s screen, or diverting them away from the website that they want to visit to an advertiser’s website, instead. Very often, the advertisers have no idea how the traffic is being sent to them, so they do not know about the underhanded tactics being used by the hackers. The end result of this is that the hackers earn money, and the advertisers create a lot of bad will, because people assume that it is their fault. While you may think that this is relatively innocent, or harmless, the fact is that it is this income which funds the hackers and allows them to continue their dangerous behaviour.
All of these types of malicious software can have a bad impact on your computer, and when you look at the overall bad effects, you will see that the performance hit is really one of the least important damages that it causes. For instance, with your secure data at risk of being stolen, and with files on your computer being deliberately damaged by malicious software, you could find that the cost of the malware infection, both to you personally and in terms of productivity time lost, can be immense.
Now that you have seen all the bad effects that malware can have upon you, you will obviously want to know how to get rid of it. Unfortunately, getting rid of malware can be very involved and difficult topic, as the creators of malware worked hard to make it difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, it is relatively easy to get rid of it, just by downloading and using some free antivirus software, other times it will take a lot more effort, and require the help of specialists. There have been times when I have had to completely reinstall an operating system from scratch on to a computer, which is a very painstaking process and one which is best avoided.
So by far the best thing to do is to prevent an infection from taking place in the first place. If you were to use up-to-date security software on your computer, you would be saving yourself a lot of trouble. There are lots of different programs available, some of the good ones are actually free. While it will not 100% guarantee that you are not infected, it can go a very long way to preventing the damage that she can occur, and often can completely prevent infections before they can reach your computer.
If your computer has already become infected before installing the security software, it will be much harder to get rid of the infection, because often the malware takes steps to prevent security software from working properly. Also, if you find that you keep on getting the same virus detected on your system over and over again, despite the actions of your security software to delete it, then you will probably need to use a program such as “hijack this”, which will enable you to get a full and detailed report of the state of your computer, which can then be uploaded to a forum, where IT specialists will be able to tell you what is wrong, and how to repair it. This is obviously a much more sophisticated topic than I am covering in this article, so you should do a Google search for more information if this is the case.
So what you should take away from this article is as soon as you have finished reading it, you need to download and start using some really good quality antivirus software, if you’re not already doing so.
As you can see, there’s more to this whole topic of protecting your computer from malware than a simple slow computer fix. While it is true it can make your computer fast and easy to operate, it can go a lot further towards protecting you personally and financially from the harmful effects of computer criminals.
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