Cybersecurity is a massive concern for people nowadays. You need to do all that you can within your power to ensure that your information is well-protected. In this article, we’ll focus on malware, what it can do, and what you should do to protect yourself from it.

malware cybersecurity

What Is Malware?

Malware is short for “malicious software.” It aims to harm a device, extract data, or corrupt files in that device. It can be spread through a physical data transportation device like a flash drive or through digital means such as an infected link. This makes malware one of the most harmful cyber threats out there.

How Does Malware Work?

The most common tactic to make people click on these infectious links is to fool them into thinking that there’s some sort of urgent matter that clicking the link will solve. For example, the link may say, “Warning, your device has been infected. Click this link to start a scan now.” As soon as you click on the link, the software will begin to download itself onto your computer or mobile device. Once the malware gets into the system, it will install harmful software. This can be the beginning of a whole myriad of issues that will follow.

Types of Malware

There are several types of malware out there. Here are some of the most common among them:

Virus

A virus can attach itself to a host program and spread itself to infect the device as soon as the program is installed. Some viruses can even spread themselves throughout the network, crippling the entire organization.

Trojan

A trojan steals your information. It typically doesn’t ruin your system. However, due to its discreet nature, it can remain hidden in your device, transmitting information for an incredibly long time before it’s found.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that may prevent access to a file, and you will have to pay the hacker a ransom to regain access.

Adware

Adware is a software that redirects you to an unwanted site or advertisement. While this type of malware isn’t malicious in nature, it can be quite irritating.

Spyware

Much like a trojan, spyware can remain hidden in your system for a long time. Unlike a trojan, though, spyware doesn’t send information from your device to the hacker. Instead, it allows the hacker to see every activity you’re doing. This allows them to steal your password, credit card information, and other sensitive information.

What Causes Malware?

As briefly mentioned earlier, there are many ways that your device can contract malware. To help you understand how to protect yourself from this software, you need to understand where it comes from. Here are some of the most common ways you can risk infecting your device:

Spam emails

If you see any suspicious email with an unidentifiable attached file, download link, or forward link, there’s a chance that it contains malware. Be sure to avoid such emails if you see any.

Software bundles

If your device starts downloading a file bundle from an unidentifiable source, you can safely assume that it’s a malware program. If this happens, you will need to delete it and scan your device for malware immediately.

Data transferring tools

USB drives, DVDs, CDs, and portable hard drives can carry malware. If you’re not sure of the origin of the data transferring device, do not put it into your computer.

Infected site

You can contract some sort of malware very easily by clicking on the wrong links. Make sure you don’t click on any suspicious links.

How Can A Malware Attack Be Prevented?

These are some of the ways to reduce the risk of contracting malware, but there they’re not fail-proof. Protect your device and information from malware attacks by following these tips:

Install firewalls and anti-malware programs

Anti-malware software will help you to detect these threats before you’re left susceptible to them. There are many of these programs in the market at pretty much every price range. You need to identify your needs to ensure that you don’t overspend or underspend on your cybersecurity measures.

Update your software

Outdated malware won’t be able to attack an updated system, but newer malware programs can attack outdated systems. You need to make sure that your system is always up-to-date to minimize the risk of contracting older malware programs.

Use strong passwords

You should use a fair combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers in your passwords to ensure your personal information is kept secure. Additionally, you should look to change your password regularly and avoid using the same password for everything. Even if you already follow this advice, strong passwords are not always enough to keep your information safe.

Don’t click on suspicious links

The first safety rule for anyone who’s new to the internet is, “When in doubt, click out.” This is a conclusive rule, and it can help prevent a number of issues from occurring in the first place. If you want to check the origin of a link, hover your mouse over it to see the full URL. If there’s no identification or name of the organization associated with the link, do not click on it.

Work with a professional network security agency

The most important thing of all is that you need to implement a network security measure to ensure that your network is protected. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient, effective, and conclusive solution to your network security issue, we’re your best bet. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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Still have questions about cybersecurity?

MicroAge is hosting a live Q&A session with a panel of experts to answer all of your cybersecurity questions on November 28 at 10 a.m. PST.

Register for the Q&A session here.


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