Malware – Are Your Computer Infected
One of the biggest changes the 21st century has brought is the advent of computers and more than that the internet. They have become an integral part of our life. Right from the time we start our day, we either use a smart phone, a smart watch, tablet or laptop and all of them are connected using the internet.
We check stock prices online, chat with our friends and relatives, buy and sell retail property, shop for clothing, books, DVDs, electronic equipment and what not. All of this is at the sake of the internet. This monstrous increase in the use of the internet has brought one thing along with it. And that is Malware.
Malware is a form of malicious software
It is a piece of code or program written to damage or disrupt a computer system and its user. It can gain unauthentic access on a system, gather sensitive user information, spy on user activity and is full of malicious intent. A software causing damage to the system because of its deficiency should not be confused with malware. Term badware is used for both, a malware and a software which is harmful because of its deficiency.
The term malware is kind of an umbrella term which is used for different categories of malicious software together. Lets try to understand what these different categories are.
- Virus – This is the most basic form of malware which duplicates itself on every execution. It uses medium like flash drive, DVDs and internet downloads to spread from one computer to another.
- Spyware – This is a software which resides in a computer system and literally spies as the name suggests. It keeps track of music that is getting played, which websites user is visiting and many such user activities.
- Trojan Horse – A Trojan Horse is type of a malware which disguises itself as a usable program e.g. a game or a music file but contains a piece of executable code which causes damage to the system.
- Rootkits – A rootkit is a program which remains concealed from the user and keeps on modifying the operating system.
- Backdoors – Backdoor is a method in which the authentication is bypassed. This happens over the internet. Once a system is affected, many more backdoors are installed for future spread and this happens without notifying the user. Worms use this method widely.
Malware exploits vulnerabilities in a system
It could be vulnerability in an operating system, networked environment or a software system. Some of the intentions behind such activities are user disruption, social distress by spreading socially sensitive information, defaming a brand, making undue money and also cyber-crime.
Malware attacks the systems which are used widely. Hence, almost 95% of the malwares are written for Windows operating system and its browser Internet Explorer. Diverse use of protection software help prevents malware attacks.
Unix based systems are not usually targeted as much as Windows OS and its applications like Word, PowerPoint, Outlook are victimized the most.
If we follow some preventive measures, we can safeguard our systems from malwares. Some of such steps are
– Use legitimate software and keep it up to date.
– Operating system manufactures release security patches frequently. Make it a habit of installing them immediately.
– Use a firewall so that entry of any malware from the internet can be prevented.
– Use genuine anti-malware software and keep on updating it. These software usually check the signature of the malware with the already known signatures. If the anti-malware program is not up-to-date, it would fail to protect your system from a positive infection.
– Microsoft has published PC protection tools like Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender so use them judiciously to help protect your system.
So as you understand here, malware are very threatening. At the same time, few cautious steps help us to keep our system clean and void of malicious threats.
How Can You Tell If Something Is Wrong?
Are you presently being affected by Pop-ups ads? Or imitation anti-virus software programs frequently hacking your PC? Did your anti-virus discover some kind of an infection yet unfortunately can’t remove it? Or maybe you are experiencing a slow and sluggish processing speed or blue Screens or Internet Stopped Working or have slowed to a crawl.
If you indicated a definitely yes to any or all of the above issues then your computer system definitely have got an infection! You are likely to have a virus, trojan virus, worm, spy ware, Adware or Malware infection. Or you may have a combination of them all. I consider them all viruses and you should too.
You in all likelihood have got a virus and spy software program set up on your computer system and that’s very good but with the progression and sophistication of the most recent rouge technology you should have more than antivirus and antispyware to defend your computer system.