What is Malware & how do I stop it in its tracks?

Posted on 12th July 2019 by Samantha in Backup, Website
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What is Malware
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It seems almost everyone uses the internet. Whether it’s for business, pleasure or a little of both the number of persons connected in cyberspace significantly grows by the second. However, hackers and cybercriminals are make up this number as well. While the internet creates great opportunities for businesses to thrive and makes communicating faster, easier and more efficient it is not 100% secure. One of the biggest threats on the internet is cyberattacks and malware.

What is Malware?

Malware is a programme designed to compromise, damage, disrupt or gain unauthorised access to computers or other devices. Malware has the ability to present itself in various forms such as worms, adware, Trojan horses, spyware, and ransomware. Regardless of how malware presents, they are all engineered to compromise the security of your devices and the information they store.

Here’s a list of the different types of malware, and how to protect yourself from them.

Types of Malware to beware of

Malware varies in type and behaviour and so manifests itself differently based on the kind that attacks your system and/or devices. By understanding each, you are able to safeguard your information and devices.

1. Viruses

Website viruses have evolved over the years from making slight changes to computer wallpapers to being used to breach confidential information. Viruses attach themselves to .exe files and once you open them they infect your computer and corrupt your files. This can create several issues with your operating system, and can even result in your computer being totally unusable.

To prevent yourself from falling prey to viruses ensure you scan all executable files before running them.

Luckily, there are many antivirus software options to choose from to protect your devices.

 2. Worms

Like viruses, worms create duplicate copies of themselves and thus has the ability to do widespread damage. Worms use flaws in your security to move between computers. They are usually spread through emails. It is best to use firewalls to protect your devices and network from worms. Also, don’t click on unknown messages, emails and links on social media.

3. Adware

We all are used to getting annoying pop-ups or redirects. Adware works this typical way. While Adware isn’t created to steal your data, it will take up your bandwidth and significantly slow your computer down. Some Adware use legitimate software to disguise themselves, which can result in you accepting their terms of use, which makes them hard to remove. A specialised Adware Removal Protocol will be needed to eliminate it.

4. Trojans

Hackers can gain access to your devices without you even knowing by using Trojans create digital backdoors. This way they can steal your files and personal information or stop your computer from working.

Don’t download attachments or open emails from unknown or suspicious senders to avoid trojan attacks. Ensure you scan all your files with an antivirus software.

5. Spyware

Spyware unlike other malware doesn’t damage your computer it targets you. It affixes itself to executable files and can go unnoticed after installing itself onto your devices. This allows hackers to see whatever you type, such as passwords and other confidential information. They can use this information to access your emails, financial information or private files stored on your computer.

Protect yourself by installing high-quality anti-spyware software. The best antivirus software usually comes with anti-spyware solutions.

6. Ransomware

Ransomware allows hackers to encrypt and hold the files on your computer hostage at a cost. You should install website backup tools to save copies of your data and do not click on suspicious files or links.

 

 2019 malware threats

Cybercriminals have recently become more rampant in their efforts to install malware giving them access to businesses’ and individual’s passwords, banking credentials and private information. Since 2019, malware has continued to evolve with new Android malware with the ability to break into banking and cryptocurrency apps installed on your phone and steal funds. Other dangerous and popular malware include, WannaCry ransomware which stops your encryption and can view all your communication. There is also Gh0st, which creates a backdoor into your devices. Hackers can then take control of your device once infected. CoinMiner, which mines cryptocurrency. It uses Windows Management Instrumentation and EternalBlue to spread itself across networks.

How to Avoid Malware

Once you own a computer or any other electronic devices you should get the best and most reliable antivirus and anti-malware software to avoid malware. Install high-quality security software and run periodic diagnostic scans to detect malware. It is a good idea to do weekly scans at night so you will be less likely experience interruptions.

Good web surfing sense should always prevail. Don’t be hasty in clicking on emails from unknown sources which could turn out to be phishing emails. Whether it’s photos, documents or embedded links- if it looks unfamiliar or suspicious do not click on it.

Additionally, use encryption to protect your data. Encryptions add security to your communication by scrambling the data you send and receive from your devices so that no one else can read it without a code key. Set up firewalls on your modem or computers and be sure to create complex, original passwords to protect your online accounts.

5 key features of strong anti-malware protection

Even with the strongest passwords and cautious web browsing activities it is still possible for malware to find its way onto your system. Sometimes even downloads from what looks like a reputable website or familiar sender can have embedded malware. That is why it is in your best interest to invest in and install the best anti-malware software programme.

Since not all security software products are created equally, you need to know what to look for in an anti-malware program so you can make the best choice. Here are some core features when choosing an anti-malware security software.

1. It carries out regular program checks

One of the core feature of anti-malware software is that it runs regular checks on all programmes that are newly downloaded to ensure they don’t have viruses or other kinds of malicious software.

2. It Runs Computer scans 

The anti-malware software that you choose should be robust and does regular scans of your computer for possible malware. These scans provide an additional layer of protection against the harmful effects of malware.

3. Performs Regular Software updates 

It’s vital that you can configure the anti-malware programme you use to run automatic updates. This is critical since there are new types of malware that surface on a regular basis. Regular updates help to arm your devices with the latest patches so that it can recognise and protect it from new threats.

4. Spam-filtering technology

Most if not all of us have received spams in our emails. So when looking for the best anti-malware programme ensure it offers email spam-filtering technology. It works as a spam-blocker and will help to protect you from malicious links.

5. Sandboxing

This feature allows your security software to detect possibly harmful programmes. It does this by running a test in a protected, isolated space on your computer called “sandbox”. There it will determine if the suspicious mail is actually malicious. If it is, your anti-malware software should be able to remove it.

 

Summary

Being vigilant online and by installing reliable reputable anti-malware security software on all devices at home and in the office is critical. Also, should your devices already have a malware a Malware Removal Tool will help you to remove it. Taking these security measures is the best way to ensure you have protection from malware across all your electronic devices.

If you still have questions about malware and other cyber threats, Hosting.uk can provide you with the answers. We also offer UK’s best backup service and website hosting plans ideal for your needs.