Malicious software, commonly known as malware, is any software that brings harm to a computer system. Malware can be in the form of worms, viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits, etc. which steal protected data, delete documents or add software not approved by a user.
What is Malware?
Malware is a shorter term for ‘malicious software’. It includes any and every threat to your computer. It is a term for viruses, worms, Trojan horses and everything else. It is incredibly easy to mistakenly install malware on your system. All you have to do is click the wrong link or get the wrong e-mail attachment. However, a good anti-virus takes care of most of these threats.
What is a Worm?
A worm is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. This is how it gets the word ‘Worm’ – it can still wiggle even when you cut its head off.
If you notice that a file doesn’t go away even after being deleted, or when your disk space is full despite you not downloading or having that many programs or files, the culprit most likely is a worm
What is a Trojan?
A Trojan is a program that looks genuine but has a malicious agenda. The reason behind designing a Trojan is to get access to data inside a person’s computer.
It gives access to your most sensitive data that may include credit card information. This is completed by creating a backdoor.
You can protect yourself against Trojans by downloading software and programs that come from known and verified sources, and not obtained by a random search on the Internet.
What is a Virus?
People often use the term virus to generically mean any sort of malicious software that infects their system.
Viruses are highly specialized programs that modify your data and may even delete it.
In most cases, viruses come through malicious downloads that can damage your system, like downloading cracked software or music. You may receive an innocent, legit looking e-mail with an attachment, maybe even from an e-mail address you know, and once you download the attachment, the virus is in your system.
When you visit a certain website and download software, often viruses are downloaded along with it. Most viruses only come into operation once you execute the file that you have downloaded.
Preventing Malicious Software?
Now you know what different malware are and what they mean you can understand how to prevent yourself from falling prone to these attacks. By following this list you can stop yourself being vulnerable and make sure your data and personal information stays private, and where it should be
Get A Good Anti-Virus Software
Most people have some kind of free anti-virus or the one that comes bundled with the Windows program when you buy it. Though these are not bad or harmful, they are inefficient in protecting and maintaining your system. If you use the Internet, you need a professional anti-virus. Find a premium version that fits your needs. There are different types of antivirus for home and business use. Update your anti-virus programs when you get an alert.
Know what malicious programs look like
If you think your computer has become slow or there are some programs that look suspicious, it is always handy if you know what the problem is. Maybe it is a worm, a virus, a Trojan horse or something else. A basic idea of what they look like and what they do can help you here.
For example, instances of worms are W32.SillyFDC.BBY, Packed.Generic.236. JS.Debeski.Trojan is a Trojan horse.
Be wary of e-mail attachment
Never download an email attachment without scanning it first. Services like Gmail have virus scanners for attachments inbuilt, but a good anti-virus comes along with this email scanning service. No matter how genuine the e-mail looks or even if it is from your best friend, scan it first. If your friend’s system has been infected, there is a good chance a malicious attachment has been sent to you or any person in his e-mail contact list.
Another good scanner online is VirusTotal
It scans the attachment on multiple anti-virus software and will tell you the results from them all so you know if it safe to open
Avoid the Third Party Downloads
Do not go to websites by clicking on shortened URLs. Type the website address in the address bar. Do not download software from publishers you aren’t sure of or aren’t known. Be extra cautious while filling in your credit card information on a website, make sure the URL has HTTPS (this is an encrypted site if it has the ‘S’.
Don’t Forget to Avoid Autorun
Inserted a Pen drive or a hard disk to your computer. Well, you need to be sure that the Autorun option is disabled and first, scan the drive properly. Not doing so, your computer may get affected. Infected external drives with viruses are one of the most common ways to infect your computer.
Regular Backup Your Data:
In case, if your computer is infected with a virus or malware, regular data backup helps to restore your data. It is sensible to encrypt all your data, therefore should the data be lost or stolen, the chances of it being secured are strong. Also, should you get attacked with ransomware you don’t need to worry because all of your data is backed up on an external device