What does malware do? What is its purpose? Here’s a short introduction to the menace of the internet.
‘Malware’ is a combination of two words – malicious and software. Viruses, ransomware and spyware are examples of malware, and the name covers any software written with intent to damage devices or steal data.
Even if we don’t know how it works, we all know that software is the information that makes programs run on our computers and mobile devices. And most software is built with good intentions. But not all.
Malware is malicious software. It sneaks, uninvited, onto your computer or device and does bad things. And there are different kinds with different purposes. There’s mostly annoying malware, like pop-up ads. But there’s also more dangerous kinds, like programs that lock up a device until ransom is paid, or others that steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers.
Types of Malware
Automatically displays unwanted ads, sometimes luring users to malicious websites.
Remote Access Trojan (RAT) Opens a back door to a computer so it can be controlled remotely, giving an external administrator access to all the computer’s functions and data.
Locks up users’ computers until ransom is paid.
Spies on users’ activity and reports sites you visit and other sensitive information to outsiders.
Invades a network of computers and takes directions from a central server. They may steal information from compromised computers or collectively launch Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks.
Most of Your Defenses are for Yesterday’s Threats
If you think it’s safe to download or stream pirated TV, film or sports because your cybersecurity is up to date, think again. Your anti-malware software may not protect you from malware that comes from pirated content.
Anti-malware only protects your network and computers from dangers it’s been told to look for, so it’s ineffective against new threats.
And hackers are continuously updating their arsenals to stay one step ahead of your defenses.
Common Sense is Your Best Defense Against Malware
Malware traps are usually suspicious. The unexpected email from an old friend that contains little more than a hyperlink.
The random text offering big prizes only if you fill out a survey. And pirate TV and film streaming services that offer a shockingly generous assortment of channels and videos on demand for a surprisingly low price.
“Click Here” pop-up ads warning of virus attacks and offers to update your software are common scams. So are many offers for newly released films, TV and live sports.
The best way to protect yourself from malware is to keep your cybersecurity up to date, protect your passwords and avoid websites and streaming services that offer pirated content.
Avoid sketchy corners of the internet and refuse offers that are too good to be true.
Interested in learning more?
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