bigstock-Antivirus-Concept-40512811Viruses slip by anti-virus and anti-malware protection all the time. Your users often allow them through by clicking on something they shouldn’t. Sometimes, they’re so cleverly designed that they sneak right through, regardless of how good your protection is. And if a certain cybercriminal is determined enough, they can get through with enough time and patience.

Finally, there’s another huge problem: many small businesses (and especially manufacturing companies) don’t protect their computer networks nearly enough. So it’s easy for even amateur hackers to attack some and score valuable data.

How do you know if your network has a virus? Here’s a few signs:

1. Your Hardware Acts of Its Own Accord

Have you noticed your printer printing when no one asked it to? What about CD/DVD-ROM trays opening on their own? Has any of your networked manufacturing equipment ever done strange things? You may very well have a virus if you’ve noticed any of these strange events.

2. Your Applications Stop Working

Seems like it’s going to be a day just like any other, doesn’t it? Then, wham! Your applications start giving you all sorts of difficulty when you try to use them. Later, when you browse your folders for the files you need to use, you notice many of them are missing too! That’s almost a certain sign you have a virus.

3. Your Customers and Business Contacts Tell You to Stop Spamming

If you get repeated e-mails that you are spamming your customers and you know for a fact you haven’t been sending them e-mails, that’s a sure sign you have a virus. Stealing e-mail addresses and spamming your list is a very common type of virus. Some aim to spam your contacts so much that they congest your network and slow it down.

4. You Get Repeated Popups Notifying You of a Virus on Your User’s Computers

If this message doesn’t clearly come from your antivirus software, then it’s a clear sign you do have a virus. Cyber thieves have put a lot of time and effort into making these notifications look very professional and official. They easily deceive many novice and even intermediate computer users. Whenever you get an unexpected notification that your computer has a virus, check it out with great caution. More than likely it’s a virus or malware you’ve already downloaded.

When it comes to data protection and IT security, your manufacturing company can’t afford to play games. Make sure you have an IT support team in place to protect your network from cyber thieves.

Learn more about the author Bob Martin.