The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Malware?
The existence of Malware is to cause chaos, don’t invite it into your Business
What exactly is Malware?
Malware is a contraction of malicious software. The pieces of software that are specifically designed with the intent of causing damage to devices, the aim of stealing private data or to simply cause destruction and chaos.
Often designed by a group of cybercriminals or hackers, looking to make money from either selling the software over the dark web or by spreading the malware content themselves. Regardless of where the malware started from or who spreads it, if it ends up on your PC, it’s not good news.
What are the different types of Malware?
Coming in all different shapes and sizes, with a variety of forms, some types are much more harmful than others:
Computer Viruses – Anything that’s clean, viruses attach themselves to infect files, spreading uncontrollably damaging anything and everything in its path. Usually appearing as .exe files within your system.
Trojans – Disguised as what you think is legitimate software, or hidden with software that was once legitimate. Acts discreetly and creates back-doors within your security to let malware in.
Spyware – Spyware, as you can probably guess, is malware specifically designed to spy on you, your actions and what you get up to. tracking your browsing habits, noting passwords entered and learning all your security procedures.
Ransomware – Malware that locks down your system, encrypts your files and will threaten to erase everything until you pay a hefty ransom.
Worms – Just a wriggly, if not more with your IT Network. Worms infect entire networks of devices, either locally or across the internet by using network interfaces. Using infected machines as it goes to infect others.
Adware – Not the most malicious in nature, simply aggressive advertising software that undermines your security to serve you an obscene amount of pop-ups, which can allow other malware content to sneak in.
How do you prevent Malware?
When it comes to preventing malware, it’s more advised to follow rules to block it in the first place, instead of trying to find a cure to remove it from your IT systems after. There are a few common-sense practises following to avert malware from entering your infrastructure.
Don’t trust anyone online; Hackers have and will use social engineering to specifically target you, including strange emails, sudden alerts as well as fake profile and special offers too good to be true. If you don’t know what something is, don’t click on it.
Check your downloads; From official storefronts to dark websites that lurk in the corner of the internet, wherever you plan to download a file, be cautious that it could still be infected, regardless of where you found it.
Ad-blockers are the key; With advertising so prominent on websites, not all of them are what they seem. Hackers can use infected banners to trigger downloads once clicked, be wary to click on any that seem enticing.
Browse carefully; Sticking to trustworthy sites is always the best way forward. Malware can be found anywhere, but mostly in small, locally hosted websites with poor security standards in place, don’t run the risks.
Even if you follow all the steps, there’s, unfortunately, no guarantee that you’ll remain malware-free. Given the fact that worms have evolved from the depths of the ground to travel across your IT network infecting machines as it goes, no one is deemed safe.
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