How do you know if you have malware?
Some types of malware “announce” themselves, while others can hide on your device
Unlike the old days, when malware like viruses often announced themselves by displaying messages or by giving your computer the “blue screen of death,” many types of malware today can hide without producing any tell-tale symptoms of an infection. Just as different types of software perform different functions, so different types of malware can perform different jobs, whether they make themselves apparent or run on your device while hiding in the background.
Malware that you might not realize is on your device could be capturing data as you log into online accounts, finding valuable personal information stored on your device, or even turning on your webcam without your permission. This is why it’s so important to have antivirus software that recognizes and helps remove malicious software.
While many types of malware try to remain unseen, in addition to keeping up-to-date security software on your device, you can be on the lookout for some red flags that might indicate a malware infection:
- Your device slows down or gets glitchy
- Pop-up windows appear when you’re surfing
- Friends tell you they got a suspicious email from you that you definitely didn’t send
- Your smartphone battery drains quickly, or shows call/text messages you didn’t send
- Your data usage has spiked