Jul 30, 2021

How to Tell if Your PC or Mac is Infected by Malware



From the inception of the internet, viruses and malware have been popping up amongst web users. No pun intended. 

Is your computer acting off? Are boxes popping up on your screen, telling you your computer is infected? Your computer may have been infected with malware or a virus.

It’s not always easy to determine whether your computer has become infected with a virus, worm, Trojan or spyware; authors of malicious software do their best to disguise their work. However, you can look out for certain signs that your computer is infected.

How to Tell if You Have a Virus

The first tell-tale sign you have been infected by a virus is if things just seem off. If one day your computer was normal and the next it’s having unexplainable problems, chances are you were infected. There are a few key signs to look for when it comes to malware. 

  • Ads and pop-ups:  If you are seeing a lot of ads suddenly, there is very little doubt you have a virus on your hands. Pop-up ads will show up on screen, even when you are not browsing the internet.

  • Things are slowing down: This is a huge tell-tale sign. If your computer is slowing down and you see no reason for this happening, there is a possibility that you have unknowingly installed malware on your system.

  • Seeing programs you did not download: If you see new icons on your desktop for applications that you did not download, you have a potential unwanted program infection. You may also see a pop-up telling you “Your computer is infected. Click here to download antivirus software.” With one simple click you have downloaded malware onto your system. 

  • Browser redirection: If your default browser is taking you to sites that you don’t want to go to, there is a very good chance that your browser has been hijacked courtesy a virus.

What to Do When you Have a Virus

Do not ignore the signs! Disconnect from the internet to ensure no more data is going to be sent to the malware server. Then make your way to the ‘activity monitor’ and go through the CPU tab to check all programs that are running. Stop the ones you think are malicious. You also need to remove unwanted applications. 

These steps are the bare minimum you must do on an immediate basis. You are battling sophisticated viruses capable of hiding on an operating system, aren’t easy to catch, and may even demand extra support. 


Make sure you are scanning your system for viruses regularly. Just because there is no virus on your system today doesn’t mean that it won’t be attacked next week. For more IT support and email security, reach out to the team at Netcotech to find the perfect solution for you.


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