The internet is a wonderful place for doing business, learning new things and having fun. However, being online can pose a threat to your finances and even your safety. Knowing the potential threats and taking the appropriate precautions is key to enjoying a malware-free experience.
What Is Malware?
Malware is the joining of the words malicious software. It’s an umbrella term that includes a host of programs. These lines of code enter computers and other digital devices intending to cause harm or extract sensitive information.
What is a malware attack and are you safe from one? A malware attack is a breach of a computer’s security conducted by a malevolent hacker, usually for financial gain. These attacks can affect anyone from government intelligence agencies down to an internet user in a remote rural town.
As long as your device can access the internet or someone can upload a program to your computer in person, the possibility that malware can affect your computer exists.
Types of Malware
Hackers have an extensive arsenal of weapons to carry out their attacks. When speaking of malware, there are different types of programs that carry out different tasks.
Computer viruses are malware that enters your computer and starts to replicate much like a biological virus. During this computer infection, a virus can steal sensitive files and overwhelm your system to the point that it locks down.
Worms are viruses that don’t expand uncontrollably throughout your computer. Instead, they focus on specific targets.
Trojan horses, or simply Trojans, masquerade as proper software programs only to serve an ulterior purpose. Trojans can be particularly deceptive as they can pose as software updates or free antivirus programs.
Other malware types include spyware, ransomware, botnet and adware. The latter may be the least devastating, yet still intrusive as it will serve ads on the victim’s computer.
How Do I Detect and Respond to Malware?
There are a few signs that should tip you off to a malware attack. These include your computer being unusually slow, its fan operating at full speed and a sudden loss of disk space. You may also experience a change in your browser settings and even a loss of access to files on your device.
Having a reliable antivirus offers significant protection from malware. Companies that offer these solutions are constantly updating their lists of potential threats. This way, your computer is always ready for the current malware that’s going around.
How Can I Prevent My Device From Becoming Infected With Malware?
Other than a strong anti-virus, you should follow a few best practices that will keep you out of trouble. Start by avoiding clicking on or downloading anything that isn’t from a trusted source. Hackers like to disguise their malware as emails that are of interest to their victims.
Furthermore, elect to download apps from trusted sources to ensure maximum safety. Installing a firewall will provide added protection while maintaining an offline backup of your data will save the day in case of emergency.
Better Safe Than Sorry
The digital content experts at Egnyte recommend you don’t get lulled into a false sense of security with your internet use. Take all necessary precautions to ensure that you won’t be a hacker’s next victim.