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- Viruses and malware are common and can have drastically negative results on your computer and life.
- You can often tell that your computer is infected because it acts weird or slow.
- Active antivirus software is a good way to prevent these problems.
- This article is for small business owners who are concerned their systems may be infected and want to properly address the issue.
Is your computer acting weird? Are boxes popping up on your screen, telling you your computer is infected? Are you hearing strange sounds? 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.
The negative impact of a computer infection
A virus or malware always has a negative impact, but the degree of that impact depends on the type and scope of the infection. Here are some of the possible consequences of a computer infection:
- Loss of performance. Malware can make your computer process things more slowly. That means it may take increasingly longer for you to get work done or just look up a quick fact.
- Loss of functionality. In extreme cases, the virus can degrade your computer performance or programming so badly that you can no longer use your machine.
- Exposure to other negative software. The purpose of some malware is to entice you to download even more dangerous software.
- Loss of information. Viruses might delete stored files or data.
- Breach of privacy. In some cases, viruses seek to gather personal information about you for the purpose of identity theft or fraud. This can result in financial losses if your accounts are breached.
Key takeaway: A computer infection can cripple your operations with a loss of performance, functionality and information. It can also result in a breach of privacy and exposure to other negative software.
Types of computer infections
According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky, things you don’t want on your computer include viruses and all types of malware and spyware. Here are some common threats: