Malware is used to harm devices, data, and to a large extent, people. We often hear the terms such as virus, trojan, or spyware when we discuss malware. Most of us understand it’s bad to contract a virus, but don’t really understand how malware works. What is malware and how can we stop it from spreading to our devices or our networks? Let’s find out.
What are the types of malware?
The term malware stands for malicious software and it is deployed by individuals that want to harm a user’s website or system. It’s important to distinguish what each type of malware does, and how it poses a risk to your site.
- Virus – A virus corrupts any clean files around it, and spreads quickly. Its aim is to destroy your computer’s functionality and delete or corrupt as many files as possible.
- Trojan – Similar to the Trojan Horse, this type of malware disguises itself as a legitimate software and creates a backdoor in your security to let other malware in.
- Spyware – If the name didn’t give it away, this type of malware is designed to spy on you. It can pick up sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and even emails or conversations.
- Adware – While Adware’s main intention is to give you ads, it could also give way for other malicious software to invade your site.
- Ransomware – Ransomware blocks or shuts down your computer or site until a ransom is paid.
How do you stay safe from malware?
1. Install anti-virus software.
Whether you have a Windows or a Mac computer, you should still install anti-virus software. Make sure it’s up-to-date and scan your computer regularly.
2. Update your current operating system.
The operating system on your devices is constantly being updated to prevent vulnerabilities. Make sure you’re using the latest version.
3. Don’t just open anything.
If you’ve ever opened an email from an unknown person or downloaded free software from a shady website, you could be susceptible to a malware attack. Scan suspicious looking files or emails before you open or download them.
4. Keep your information safe.
Don’t give out sensitive information to third party members and secure your accounts using 2-factor authentication.
5. Be careful when using public WiFi.
Although free, public WiFi is unsafe. Avoid logging into things such as your bank account, personal business emails, or other sites holding sensitive information when logged into publically accessible internet.
Why should you take malware seriously?
Often times malware can be annoying if you contract it on your computer at home. But if your devices for work are attacked, you could be in serious trouble. Being infected with malware could mean the theft of vital business information or loss of valuable data. What’s worse, your client’s information could also be stolen and used in malicious ways. Along with your data, you could also face long downtimes on your site, resulting in lower SEO scores due to users being unable to reach your site. Take malware seriously and practice the above tips.
On that note, make sure to follow website security as well:
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