How to Detect Malware & Viruses Preemptively | ITque

When you imagine malware and viruses, what comes to mind? Multiple pop-ups on your screen, flashing red lights, people panicking? Once it’s spotted, it’s easy to combat and that image you had in your head becomes much more manageable as your IT team works to remove the issue quickly and efficiently. However, you should always be vigilant against malware. This article will help show you how to identify malware & viruses and prevent them from causing any lasting damage.

Symptoms of Malware, Virus Infection

First, you should be on the lookout for telltale signs of malware or virus infection. These usually aren’t as obvious as a flashing sign or warning text that an intruder has been found. More often, you won’t notice you’ve been breached until it’s too late. If your system is infected with malware, there are many different ways the situation can go wrong, which we’ve highlighted in our “How Does Malware Work?” blog. To keep it brief, here are a few different ways to spot a virus in its early stages:

  • Systems and processes suddenly slow down.
  • Services or applications won’t open or open at random on your desktop.
  • You receive constant pop-ups regardless of being on the internet or not.
  • Files that you should typically have access to are suddenly restricted or blocked.

In each of these cases, it’s subtle, but usually not something that a virus scan will pick up. Some of these instances, such as the slower processes, may even seem natural in your work environment and you could chalk it up to a slow network that day. No matter what the case may be, it’s best to stay on top of it and consult with your IT department or IT Provider to make sure nothing is seriously wrong. These viruses are looking for personal information and weakening the integrity of your system as a whole. Getting on top of things early is an easy way to prevent problems down the road.

How to Protect Your System From Malware, Viruses, etc.

There are specific job processes you need to complete every day that have the potential to let malware in accidentally. To stop this from occurring, there are a few things to look out for while you work.

  • First, make sure your endpoint security is up to date and properly installed. Your company has virus protection for a reason, so make sure that you have the latest version installed at all times. If you have trouble opening the software or it routinely finds no viruses despite ongoing issues with your computer, that’s a sure sign that you have already been infected by malware and need the help of IT.
  • Second, there will be applications or files that you’ll need to download eventually. Either someone will send them to you in an email or it will be something in the network that you need to do your job correctly. Whatever the case, be careful that what you’re installing is safe. Many times, a file is a convenient way to allow a virus to enter your computer. If you receive an email from a strange address, need an application from an unverified website or source, or don’t feel comfortable handling a download on your own, contact your IT provider. They can help walk you through safe alternatives and the download steps.
  • Third, keep an eye on your emails. Phishing attempts come through companies constantly, encouraging employees to follow a link, download an email attachment, or respond with private information. Each of these is a blatant attempt to give malware a clear path into your network. Should you see anything remotely suspicious in your inbox, report it to IT right away to have them investigate it.
  • Finally, avoid pop-ups. Use a pop-up blocker if possible—install one if there isn’t already one on your computer. Pop-ups are one of the oldest methods hackers use to try and sneak their malicious software onto your computer. If you are encountering more pop-ups than usual, start running a malware check and contact IT to see if it’s going to become a more significant issue.

Learning How to Check For Malware, Viruses, etc.

Vigilance is critical to keep your network and your computer safe from outside attacks. If you encounter any suspicious activity at all, from operating system errors to strange network activity, you should let the professionals in your building know so they can handle these issues before they become larger problems.

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ITque is a Campbell-based Managed IT Security & Services company with more than 100 small and medium-sized businesses in California and beyond. For all our clients we focus on network and data security as these are the lifeblood of most small businesses. From disaster recovery to network security and compliance, we have you covered.

Our technicians have more than 127 years of combined, hands-on IT experience with companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries including legal, financial, hospitality, health care, construction, entertainment, machine shop, pharmaceutical, high-tech and more.

What’s more, in their previous lives, our CTO and technicians have worked for some of the largest security companies and on many large security projects with the likes of SSH, F-Secure, Kaspersky and Sophos as well as consulting privately on nationwide IT Security projects for Best Western and Circle K’s Credit Card processing networks.

This is one of many reasons ITque is a leading Managed IT Security and Service Provider in the Bay Area and was recently named Preferred Managed IT Service Provider for Dasher Technologies. Contact us today at 408-641-7030.