Learning how to recognize and defend against malware attacks is one of the critical tasks of IT departments across the globe. Malicious software, or malware for short, typically includes: spyware, viruses, worms, Trojans, and other types of malicious code that can infiltrate computers.Malware has the capability to steal sensitive information from your computer, gradually slow down your computer, or even send fraudulent emails from your email account without your knowledge. In general, malware can cause some serious trouble for you and your devices as well as the business and personal contacts on your email list. Let’s look at the specific types of malware and the steps you can take to protect against it.
Types of Malware
Malware is a computer code that is often employed as a tactic by professional cyber criminals who want data, sensitive information, or access to insider information. You may have heard about some of the most common types of malicious code that falls under the malware umbrella, but here is a quick review.
A virus such as the infamous WannaCry or ILoveYou, is a harmful computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer.
A worm is a malicious computer program that sends copies of itself to other computers via a network.
Spyware is a form of malware that collects information from people without their knowledge.
Adware is a type of malware that we are all probably familiar with as it is a software that automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements on a computer.
A Trojan horse is a very destructive program that pretends to be a useful application, but harms your computer or steals your information after it's installed. (Source: Google Help Center)
How To Prevent Malware
In our opinion, the best approach to preventing malware is to be proactive in your approach. Here are a few suggestions for your organization to stay ahead of malicious code from becoming your adversary.
Keep your software updated. We know it's tempting to click “later” when prompted by a notification box on your desktop. Apple and Microsoft put out these updates regularly in order to stay on top of the security issues that are trending. A short update will save you time and money in the long run.
Avoid suspicious links and emails. Think twice before you open an attachment from a questionable source. Be sure you know the sender before you install or download anything on to your device.
Practice common sense when browsing. Avoid websites that feature pirated material.
Question pop-up windows before you download or even click.
Limit your file sharing which is easier said than done while a pandemic keeps us remote. Some file sharing sites offer little in the way of protection from malware.
Scan downloads with antivirus software prior to downloading.
Malware has some devious and underhanded ways to get onto your computer from downloading malicious software to opening fraudulent attachments. Following these best practice prevention controls can safeguard your computers and business as a whole. Talk to our team about how you can maintain best practices in your office whether you are fully in person or remote.