Malware (“malicious software”) is software that makes life hard. It’s purpose: to damage or disable computers and computer systems. Malware comes in a variety of types, with names that are often pretty sinister-sounding, if not downright nasty: Adware, Trojan Horse, Worm, Ransomware, and Rogueware. Other times, more innocuous: Rootkit, Keylogger, Botnet. All of them bring unwanted, unexpected and unhappy results for unwitting computer users.
Malware is not just the handiwork of a bunch of internet hooligans out to vandalize cyberspace. Much of the work of theft of these nefarious evildoers (aka “hackers”) involves the clandestine, calculated pilfering of personal and confidential information.
Malware threats grow fast, every moment of every day. Antivirus protection programs face the constant challenge of keeping up with each new threat that comes onto the scene. So, how do you provide protection for yourself, and your business or organization from malware? Start by keeping in mind that the best malware protection is YOU.
Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts to avoid malware infection:
- Install software without checking it out first, especially the “free” kind. Take the time to check out multiple online reviews.
- click on OK, Yes, Continue or Run when a pop-up window appears and asks you to install unknown software.
- open email attachments you don’t trust.
- ignore security warnings from Windows or your antivirus program
- click on links in suspicious emails. Keep in mind that scam emails are getting ever-more clever, often appearing to come from a person or organization you know.
- use a secure web browser
- pay attention to security warnings from Windows or your antivirus program.
- regularly update your operating system (Windows) and software
- use antivirus software.
Consider the Cloud
Cloud computing has significant advantages not only for personal users but for businesses and organizations, too. (See our blogs on cloud computing and cloud storage for more on cloud computing.) But whether you do most of your work in the cloud or not, you can benefit from cloud technology when it comes to preventing malware.
Cloud antivirus software does most of its processing elsewhere on the Internet rather than on your computer’s hard drive. Cloud antivirus software has two essential components working together: the client component, and the Web service component. The client is a small, non-intrusive program running on your local computer. It scans your system for malware. Cloud anti-malware/anti-virus clients need just a tiny amount of your computer’s processing power– unlike non-cloud malware protection which has a well-deserved reputation for being a resource hog. Another advantage of cloud anti-malware protection is that there’s no need to continually update your software to stay protected from the latest threats.
Malware protection isn’t just a fancy option. It’s a must for both personal and business users. At Tethered Computers, we know how malicious malware can be. Contact us for a free consultation on malware protection, cloud services, mobile device management — and more — for your business or organization.