Is your internet experience being disrupted by constant pop-up ads one after the other? “Offers” like “You’ve won $1,000,000” and “We’ve detected a virus on your computer!” and constant unwanted malware disguised in a pop-up.
No matter what the pop-up offers, whether that is a deal that seems life-changing or a terrifying warning, never click the spam. Often these pop-up ads are filled with malware, malicious programs that infect your computer and steal your most sensitive data such as social security numbers and banking information.
How can you tell if your computer is infected by malware? Here are the 5 most common warning signs and how to avoid an infection.
Pop-up ads warning you of malware that has infected your computer and that their service can fix it
Hackers and bad actors do not only use enticing deals or prizes to lure people into clicking pop ups, but they also often use fear tactics as well. These fear tactics are so effective because panic and worry can cause you to act on impulse and click when you normally would not.
If you come across a pop-up that warns you of a virus or malware stay calm and don’t click impulsively. Never download anything from a pop-up or give “authentication” information to them because this will give them access to your system or personal information.
Non-stop pop-up offers of a millions of dollars in prizes or free services are a malware sign
Certain software can clean up already infected machines, but malware can make the screen so cluttered that clicking the wrong link can happen.
Hackers will often try to disguise their malware in things that you are already doing so that you will not notice that you have clicked on it, such as when already purchasing a product or downloading a file.
You might be shown an incredible deal on a product that you were already looking for and clicking on that spam could result in an infected system and compromised data.
Repeated freezes, crashes, slowdowns, or clicking links takes you to the wrong web pages
A constantly freezing or glitching computer is the most obvious sign that malware has infected your computer. There is software that can clean and speed up your computer, but you should also be taking proactive measures to avoid the issues up front.
One of the most effective ways to avoid malware is having an up-to-date antivirus software that can preemptively catch potential threats.
A sudden and unexpected change to your homepage
A change to your homepage that you did not do is often a red flag of a malware infection. Going directly to your anti-virus program or the program’s website is a way to get to the bottom of something like this.
Double check the URL you inputted for typos, many hackers will squat on typo URL’s for popular websites and use them as gateways to give malware.
New toolbars, plugins, or extensions to your browser that you did not install
When a malware program first infects your computer, it takes over and begins planting traps throughout your system trying to expose or find your sensitive information. These traps could show up as toolbars, plugins, or extensions that you did not install and it could be a sign that you clicked a wrong pop-up unknowingly.
Even if the message on the pop-up is worrying, treat them like spam emails and do not click or download anything from them, do not provide personal info, and do not provide login information. Do not respond to a pop-up claiming it can remove malware for you.
You can not stop the hackers, but you can prepare yourself well against their cyber attacks looking to profit from stealing your personal information.
Contact us today to take control of your cybersecurity.