Malware is a harmful type of software that tries to steal or limit access to your files and private information. A high percentage of active computer systems have been infected with malware at least once. Depending on the type of malware that affects your computer, your activities could get ruined for an extended period.
The symptoms of malware infections include slowed operations on your computer system. Incessant freezing up of your device could also mean you have a malware infection. The most serious form of malware involves a large pop-up that limits every form of access to your computer files.
Different Types of Malicious Software (Malware)
You can get infected with worms through outdated software or bugs in a program’s code. Worms mostly attack the entirety of your system. However, they can spread to your network.
Worms can change and delete files on your computer, steal your private information, and introduce more malware to your device.
Ransomware is a type of direct malware that allows a hacker to request financial remuneration. Because ransomware prevents user access to one’s files, the victim becomes forced to pay the ransom.
This type of malware spread through the world in 2017, leading to a loss of billions of dollars. It was called the WannaCry attack and it attacked outdated Windows OS users.
Securing your Device from Malware
- Update your OS, Programs, and Browser Plug-ins
Immediately you get a notification for a software update, refrain from neglecting it. The updates released typically contain security patches to further prevent hackers from exploiting them. Remember that worms and ransomware thrive on software bugs and security loopholes in the software
This tip applies to your operating system, programs, and browser plug-ins. If your device also harbours outdated software and plug-ins, it could be an avenue for malware to get into your system. As such, delete them. Endeavour to activate automatic updates on your device too.
- Use a Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network or VPN protects your information from being spied on. It primarily protects online traffic and doubles as a privacy tool.
Sometimes hackers spread malware onto devices on public Wi-Fi networks. Apart from that, these cybercriminals take logs of your internet activity while using the network. They can go as far as stealing your social media and online banking logins.
When you use a VPN to encrypt your traffic, hackers won’t be able to see your information. As your connection is encrypted and private, your risk is also mitigated.
- Create Multi-Layered Security
You need to use multiple security tools to insulate your device from malware. After getting a VPN, activate, or install a firewall. Firewalls prevent malware data packets from getting onto your system.
You also need to get anti-malware and anti-ransomware programs. These programs ensure that malware programs that slip past firewalls will get stopped before reaching your device. They can also weed out malware existing on your system.