Why You Need To Kill Malware
You’ve probably heard of the term malware if you regularly spend time on the internet. But do you know exactly what it is, where it comes from, and what it can do to your computer or computer network? Malware, also known as spyware, adware or viruses is basically an extremely malicious software designed to invade your computer or network and cause major (and sometimes irreparable) damage. Malware can change critical computer settings, delete important software, cause drastic computer errors and even monitor your browser habits. This software is a gateway to opening your computer or network to attacks of all kinds while harming its security and affecting its performance.
Malware software is utilized by hackers who use deceptive and unethical tactics to install it on your computer without your knowledge or consent. These methods usually come in the form of unrequested downloads, where you mistakenly run the software on your computer and unknowingly install it, starting the process of computer degradation.
Where does malware come from?
A computer can be at risk simply by visiting an infected website or fake homepage, downloading infected software, or installing untrusted software. Being redirected to another website is another symptom.
What can be done about it? Most antivirus programs can clean and delete malware, but it’s always recommended to purchase and run an anti-malware program or cleaner periodically to ensure that your computer is cleaner and most importantly, safe.
What is a Ransomware Virus?
Ransomware virus is a kind of malicious script or software that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge. Once it’s installed and running, it will lock down your system and won’t allow you to access any files or programs on that computer. Usually, as in this current WannaCry exploit, it will alert you to the lockdown with an impossible-to-ignore pop-up screen which informs you that your computer is being held for ransom. To unlock your system and regain access to the computer being held hostage, the lock screen informs you that you must purchase an unlock tool or decryption key from the hacker.
How Can You Tell If Your Computer Is Infected?
The most obvious way to tell if your computer has been affected is if you are seeing a ransomware pop-up screen when you start up your computer. But because we don’t know how long the malware sits on your computer or network, not seeing this pop-up isn’t necessarily an indication that you haven’t been infected. The bottom line: if your Windows computer has connected to a shared network, such as those found in schools, public places, cafes and businesses, and you don’t have complete control over every computer on that network and haven’t been keeping Windows up-to-date, your computer may be infected.
How to Protect Yourself From the Vulnerability
According to Microsoft a fix for this vulnerability was released on March 14th for all affected versions of Windows. If you are running Windows and have automatic updates enabled you should be okay. If you don’t and haven’t updated recently you should update to the most recently released version immediately.
Please pass this along to your friends and family. Those that are less technical may not have updates auto-enabled, and may need a helping hand updating their operating system. Read more articles on the WannaCry Ransomware threats.
-Article: Courtesy of Wordfence.com