CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Community News Network

April 10, 2013

How to detect malware on your PC

Malware can just be annoying or something very serious

There is growing concern about cyber security, especially among businesses and organizations that maintain vast networks.

But consumers have to be aware of any threats to their personal computers and mobile devices. These threats are usually in the form of malware.

Malware is a general term to describe software you did not knowingly install and that disrupts the normal operation of your machine. It can simply be annoying or a serious threat.

Your anti-virus software is supposed to detect and deflect these programs but, for a number of reasons, some can slip by.

Here are some signs that your PC might be compromised:

- The machine runs at a slower than usual speed. We're not talking about your Internet speed, necessarily, but the speed in which your computer operates software programs and performs tasks.

- You find that your browser is taking you to a different site than the one you selected from your bookmarks, or a search engine gives you odd, unpredictable results. This is a sure sign your computer is infected with malware. After all, the main purpose of malware is to give someone else control over your machine.

Use care in downloading fixes

There are a number of free programs that will scan your system in search of malware, but be very careful to check out any program before you download it. Michael, of Plano, Tex., downloaded MyCleanPC, which is advertised on TV, and now wishes he had not.

“Almost immediately I began noticing an unbelievable number of advertisements of all kinds on my laptop, making my laptop run even slower,” Michael wrote in a ConsumerAffairs post. “I have so far uninstalled all traces of MyCleanPC from my laptop, and the effect is spectacular. No more silly and annoying ads and my laptop is a bit faster.”

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014