7 clear-cut signs your phone or computer is infected with a virus or keylogger

Topic: 7 clear-cut signs your phone or computer is infected with a virus or keylogger

The smartest hackers aren’t the ones who hack the most systems — they’re the ones who never get caught. If they’re clever and stealthy enough, a hacker can leave your system filled to the brim with malware or weird ads, confuse your friends and relatives with shady emails, and even drain your bank account dry.

The worst part? It’s usually our poor cybersecurity practices that make hacks easier to pull off. And with the rising number of data breaches occurring each year, all signs point to even more attacks. Tap or click here for 5 security mistakes you’re probably making.

No matter what kind of device you’re using, a hacker with enough gumption and know-how can break in. Your best defense is knowing what to expect. Here are some surefire ways to know if your system has been hacked, and what you can do to fix or prevent it.

1. Slowed to a crawl and too hot to be bothered

Malware tends to eat up a lot of system resources. After all, it’s an extra piece of unwanted software — one that intentionally runs your system dry. Programs on your computer can get sluggish or lag, and by the time you finally notice, it may already be too late.

If your computer is working overtime to handle the unwanted software, that can cause it to heat up. Needless to say, this can be dangerous for the health of your tech.

When a device gets too hot, internal components can melt or become damaged. Excessive heat also wears out the mechanical components of your device, such as its fans. A device that runs cool will last for much longer.

Here are some handy tools you can use to pinpoint nasty applications on your computer. If your desktop or laptop is running hot and a program you don’t recognize is hogging your system resources, there’s a good chance it’s malware.

PC: Use Task Manager

There are a few key ways to see what processes your computer is running. Windows gives users the ability to see them easily with the built-in Task Manager. Just use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to get to the Processes tab.

Windows’ Task Manager lists all of your computer’s current tasks, like programs, processes and app behavior, and how much processing power they’re using. This is usually measured in Central Processing Units, or CPUs.

To get started, open up Task Manager and check the CPU and memory columns for each process. You might find one program using 100%, or close to it, of your CPU. Open up the program associated with the process and see what it’s doing.

If you don’t recognize the name, Google it. Check online to make sure it’s a legitimate app or process; otherwise, restart the task and monitor it. If you see performance decrease again, you may have found your culprit.

Topic Discussed: 7 clear-cut signs your phone or computer is infected with a virus or keylogger