The dangers of malware and how to avoid it
We have all heard of malware attacking our devices but what really is it and how can we stop it? First and foremost, it is important to understand what malware does. Malware, which is an abbreviated term meaning ‘malicious software’, is software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage and corrupt a computer system. This software can come in many forms, from spyware, to key loggers, viruses and even worms.
The dangers computer users face when being attacked by malware can range from stealing your information – including passwords and online banking details – to blocking you from using your computer and asking for money to remove the block, to silently destroying your computer in the background without you knowing and even to gaining profit through forced advertising.
Unfortunately for us, malware is becoming ever more dangerous and somewhat more common. As technology advances, so does the malware, and there are many factors which make computers vulnerable to attacks.
Fortunately, while there are people out there creating malware, there are also people creating counter software to stop them. There are also many ways you yourself can reduce your chances of malware attacks. Here are a few quick suggestions courtesy of Syntax IT Support London on how to do so:
Install a quality antivirus
To ensure you are protected, installing antivirus software pretty much says what it does on the tin. It will protect your computer or device from viruses and dangerous malware. It is important to consider installing a decent antivirus and not just a free one. The free ones work to some extent but often do not provide adequate protection against all threats. It’s best to do some research to find the most comprehensive option suitable for your budget.
Install an antispyware program
Alongside your antivirus software, it is useful to install a dedicated antispyware program to protect all of your information. Again, it is important to consider purchasing quality spyware protection, as some of the free ones do not necessarily do everything you need. While they may warn you of attacks, they will not necessarily prevent or fully remove any threats, whereas this is to be expected from paid software.
Keep antivirus software up to date
With any antivirus software you install, whether it is free or not, it is vital that you keep these up to date. Most software you download will have constant bug fixes and updates. Therefore it is best to keep them as updated as possible – if you do not, viruses and malware can work around your software and infect computers.
If you are still wary of an attack, then this manual antivirus protection will reduce your chances.
Avoid clicking on links or attachments if you cannot ascertain the source.
A huge number of attacks originate from spam attachments in emails or compromised links. The easiest way to stay protected is to avoid opening any links or emails you think may be spam. If you are unsure if an email is spam or not, you should run it through an antivirus scan just to be sure. And if you are unsure about any links, try using a search engine to get to the page that the link purports to be.
If you follow this advice, and download the antivirus software, be vigilant with opening attachments and be cautious when surfing the internet, you should be able to significantly reduce the chances of being attacked. If you are unsure and are still seeking further advice, then IT support businesses like Syntax are perfectly placed to offer guidance on the latest issues and malware solutions for businesses..