By Gary Cox
Before Malware Tips – What is Malware?
Before providing you with 12 essential malware tips we firstly need to answer the question, What is Malware? Most people are familiar with the word malware (some too familiar, having had malware removed repeatedly from their computer), but below is the official dictionary definition of Malware.
Definition of Malware
Malware is defined as “Software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain authorised access to a computer system.”
In fact the word malware is a definition of its own being two words that run together. Malicious and Software giving the unique name we now all know as mal+ware – Malware.
Defining Malware Further
Malware includes computer viruses, spyware, worms and Trojan horses. These malicious programs can perform many varieties of functions, sometimes combing more than one item. So Malware could be spyware and a Trojan in one infection.
Purpose of Malware
- The writers of Malware want to steal your information or encrypt it for ransom purposes.
- In some cases they might want to delete sensitive data from a competitor’s server.
- They might want to alter or hijack your computer or network of computers for various purposes.
- What it all boils down to is money. They want your money (credit card details, bank details) or they are paid to delete your information by a rival government or company.
- Another type of criminal wants to encrypt your data and then ransom it with the promise of when you pay they unencrypt it for you, as if. From our experience you can pay as much as you want but the ransomers won’t unencrypt it for you. Why would they? They already have your money. So if this happens to you our advice is never pay them.
Defence Against Malware
Having a good anti-virus or malware program is vitally important on your computer. Also being computer smart and not going to strange websites and downloading “free” software. This simple and seemingly innocuous act can cause a mountain of programs to be downloaded and installed and before you know it, voila, you have a Malware issue. Now finally, 12 malware tips that will provide good defence against Malware…
The best way to defend yourself against Malware is to follow all of the malware tips below. Don’t forget it is easier to avoid getting Malware than it is sometimes to fix or remove it.
- Have a good Anti-virus program as well as a good anti Malware program.
- Update your Operating System, programs and plugins (if you really must have them)
- Enable click-to-play plugins
- Keep a close check on what software is installed and remove items that you do not need. Be very careful and always research the program you are going to remove thoroughly before deleting it.
- Be very wary on social networks and “friends” that ask you to click on this or that.
- Don’t ever call the fake tech support companies on their numbers they will probably say they are from “Windows”. There is no such company. Microsoft – yes. Windows – no.
- Put the telephone down on Tech Support cold callers. Don’t discuss or argue just put the phone down.
- Practice safe browsing. Do not go to dodgy websites, especially porn/sex sites.
- Use safe and strong passwords. Do not store them on your computer in a Word file called Passwords. This is self-explanatory I hope.
- Look for the padlock on your browser. You’ll see this on bank sites etc. and is becoming more common. This means it is a HTTPS site. (S for secure)
- Make sure your Firewall is turned on and Malware/anti-virus programs are always up to date.
- Be “street smart” or computer savvy. Just because your friend says a website is cool or okay, best check with a Google search first before going to that site. Be cautious.
Malware Continually Evolving and Improving
Anti-malware software programs are always one step behind the writers of malware. Why? Because anti-malware software is written as a response to new malware written, thus you can never be 100% safe from obtaining a malware infection, even following the 12 malware tips provided above.
Should your computer, laptop, Mac, notebook etc. become infected by any form of malware call GCComp. Computer Repair & Maintenance, we provide a very comprehensive malware removal service which you may wish to consider.
Call us on 072-898-0362 to answer your questions or to provide Computer and IT Support, we would be happy to hear from you. We at GCComp have the experience and technical knowledge to help your business with your technology issues “We know technology so you don’t have to”.