Malware (malicious software) is software that you may have inadvertently installed on your computer by downloading files or clicking on attachments in mail. If your computer has slowed down significantly or is behaving strangely then you may have malware problems. Look for some of the following signs:
• You start seeing pop-up ads all over the place while browsing. While unwanted advertising is relatively benign, it is still annoying.
• Your web browser keeps getting redirected to pages you don’t want to go to. If you undertake a search through your normal search engine, such as Google, but instead your browser sends to an unfamiliar search site, this is a sign of malware.
• Your computer gets locked, or your files are encrypted, and you get messages that the only way to undo it is to send a ransom to someone. This is called ransomware and is one of the most pernicious types of malware since often you cannot get your files back; even paying the ransom is no guarantee.