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Malware, which stands for malicious software, is a program designed to harvest information from your computer by hackers. It is one of the top cyber threats dealt with by cybersecurity agencies all over the world.
In 2020, hackers capitalized on the coronavirus pandemic by creating and spreading new forms of malware. According to a survey by CrowdStrike, a cloud-native cybersecurity platform, 56 in 100 organizations got attacked by ransomware. 27% of the firms attacked paid the demanded ransom with an average cost of $1.1 million.
What malware is and its effects differ between entities. For instance, to most firms, malware comes in the form of ransomware, with a ransom demand for payments. For most PC users, the malware appears as a Trojan, attempting to deceive the individuals into installing the bogus software. Nevertheless, on all occasions, malware is extremely harmful to a computer and must never be allowed to gain entry.
Steps to Take to Fortify your System
- Update all Software
If you’re in the habit of ignoring system updates when they pop-up, you need to stop. The updates released periodically by your operating system provider are not meant to disturb you. They protect you from the new forms of malware that could penetrate your system’s defences.
Depending on the OS you’re using, you can type in ‘System Update’ into your search box and find if there are new ones available. Apart from your operating system, you need to update the applications on your device. Browsers, games, extensions, and so on should all get upgraded.
You can activate automatic updates on your device. Usually, the option is displayed with a recommended sign near it.
- Watch the Emails you Receive
Just like you scrutinize food gifts you receive like an FBI agent, watch your received emails. Emails can sometimes contain malware that can be installed on your computer without your knowledge.
If an unknown sender emails you, be careful when you check the email. If it contains an attachment, do not even attempt to open the file. If you feel malware has been sent to you as an email attachment, simply mark the message as spam.
- Never Download Software from Pop-ups
When you’re browsing the internet, you might come across software pop-ups. Some of these pop-ups advertise as antiviruses. Most of the programs contain malware and are known as Trojans.
A Trojan is a type of malware that disguises itself as real software. Once you spot pop-ups in your browser during your internet session, ignore them and exit the pop-up window. Be careful not to click any links in the pop-up window.
Malware threats have been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic. To stop your computer from getting infected, you need to avoid pop-ups, update your software, and scrutinize your received emails.