Negosentro | Malware: What It Is and How to Avoid it | The internet is an endlessly enjoyable and helpful tool for people around the world. However, with such a large space comes sophisticated ways for hackers and cybercriminals to attack your hardware and compromise your online security. One of the many ways in which cybercriminals can attack your computer is via malware: malicious software that encompasses a wide array of harmful programs that can infect your devices. Malware is a large and consistent threat on the internet, but thankfully, you have ways to stop it from hurting your computer, as well as avoid it altogether.
Understanding Malware and Cyber Attacks
Malware can take many forms. They intentionally damage computers or networks and trick unsuspecting users into downloading or accessing harmful files to corrupt the users’ devices. Malware is just one of many categories of malicious software that fall under the umbrella of cyber attacks. So, what is a cyber attack? Malware and viruses are just small slices of that much larger term. Essentially, cyber attacks are hostile attempts by cybercriminals to infiltrate a computer network. They can target anything from single users to large businesses, with the direct goal of breaking down systems and compromising important data.
Different Types of Malware and Other Cyber Attacks
Malware, despite being just one of many forms that cyber attacks can take, in turn comes in many varieties all on its own. Types of malware include computer viruses, Trojan horses, spyware and worms, among other harmful software files. They are often deceiving and can greatly harm users’ devices. Malware is one of the most common and widely recognized forms of cyber attacks, but it is far from the only form. Other forms include phishing, denial of service attacks, eavesdropping tactics and many more.
Phishing, true to its name, resembles the activity of fishing, in that it involves using bait to catch prey. Just as various types of malware are designed to deceive unsuspecting victims into falling for a trap, phishing uses direct methods of deception such as luring people into giving away their sensitive data such as credit card information, passwords, and other personal details that criminals can access and use to their advantage.
Denial of service attacks are exactly what they sound like. They are attacks with the goal of slowing or stopping a server in order to deny users the access of the service. These usually consist of attackers overloading a server until it slows or malfunctions and prevents the victims from accessing their system, which can ultimately affect a business just as badly as a data breach.
Eavesdropping attacks, also referred to as man in the middle attacks, involve attackers breaching systems’ security to intercept private information. The attackers interfere with encrypted servers to target everyone from big businesses to individual users to compromise their data and access information that is otherwise meant to be private.
How to Avoid Malware and Other Cyber Attacks
The sheer quantity of different ways hackers can infiltrate your business’s servers, corrupt your devices, and steal your data may sound intimidating. Thankfully, for every way that your system can be compromised, there are ways for you to fix the issue or prevent it from happening.
The most important things you can do are install anti-virus software, run frequent virus scans, and keep your anti-virus software up to date. You should have software that runs checks on any potential downloads that may be suspicious or have unknown effects on your system. Another basic step to keep in mind is to only click links and download files from sources you trust. Scam emails have gotten more sophisticated and convincing as time has gone on, so be careful about where emails and links come from.
The internet has many dangers but just as many ways to stay safe. Be careful about what you click and download and keep your system protected. Doing so will keep your internet experience a happy one.