Computer viruses can do serious damage to your system, so watch for these warning signs:
1. Strange and frequent pop-ups – If you’re getting bombarded by pop-up ads, your computer may be infected by a virus. Same goes for unusual alerts and ads for anti-virus products.
2. Messages you didn’t send – It’s a red flag when a friend says they received a fishy email, instant message, or social media message from you that you didn’t send.
3. Lockdown warning – This might be the scariest virus symptom: a pop-up message saying you’re locked out of your computer unless you send money. Ignore the scammer and take your computer to a computer repair professional.
4. Very slow startup – If your computer takes forever to boot up — and you’ve done all the usual troubleshooting, including reducing the number of programs that launch at startup — a computer virus could be the cause.