The Internet is of nice use to us every day, however web-connected gadgets could be topic to assaults that may trigger irreparable harm. Viruses, malware, spyware and adware, spam, malicious ads (adware), rootkit, theft of non-public information, identification theft, scams, are all threats in opposition to which your working system have to be protected.
Malware: definition and examples
the malware is an Anglicism combining two phrases: malicious ” and ” software program “. this kind of malware install a back door (backdoor) on your computer, a backdoor that allows him to access your data. As the name suggests, the malware is characterized by its malicious intent. It has been designed or modified specifically for the purpose of damaging computer systems or recovering data in a concealed way.
Malware is intrusive and hostile. They partially take control of operations performed on connected devices (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) without your knowledge. They can force-encrypt (ransomware), steal or delete sensitive data (passwords, bank account number, etc.), or even spy on your device’s activities and transmit the information to a stranger. Cybercriminals, sometimes also called hackers or pirates (even if these terms refer to different situations), are the main users of these malicious malware programs, these malicious individuals use these programs in order to sabotage computer systems while extracting money illegally.
The various kinds of malware
Malware exists in different forms, each of which has its own specificity but which have in common that they are malicious, here are some kinds of malicious applications that you may encounter on the net:
- There are a wide variety of malicious programs that can harm your system, such as trojanalso called Trojan horse. Trojans aim to stealthily take control of a device remotely. In order to deceive the user, it presents itself as a reliable program (to avoid its detection), but it actually contains a hidden spyware or virus, which may be part of this list.
- the spyware is another very well-known malware. It’s a spyware designed to monitor users’ internet browsing. Once the program is installed on the device stealthily, it collects the data from the device and transfers it to other people who use it for dubious or lucrative purposes. Websites consulted, purchases made, emails written or read, known internet contacts… it sees everything that happens in your browser and monitors your activity on the internet!
- A adware (Where adware in French) is a malicious advertising program that is very often installed while surfing the web (especially on free streaming sites, streaming without ads being most often the prerogative of legal streaming platforms). Its goal ? Display advertisements without your knowledge. They are particularly tricky to avoid (even using an ad blocker program) and uninstall and can seriously slow down your PC. But one anti-adware software such as the highly effective freeware ZHPCleaner or AdwCleaner can help you get rid of them.
- In the same genre, the keylogger copies and steals your passwords, whether it’s your email or your PayPal account…
- the computer virus is a very common and notorious piece of malware. It is a “contagious” stand-alone program, which spreads itself from computer to computer and seriously damages your files, or even the computer’s system altogether. It blocks functions, destroys programs and obstructs the internet connection. It can send itself to your entire email contact list!
- the worms is very close to the virus. It spreads on the computer network through technical faults, without needing to be downloaded or a hacker to direct it.
- the ransomware Ransoms you: this program blocks files or parts of your system and refuses to give you access to them. The hacker asks you for money (a ransom often to be paid in cryptocurrency such as bitcoin or ethereum) to unlock access… not sure he will give it back to you in the end, even if you pay!
Signs indicating the presence of malware
Malware can take various paths to install itself on your system. Phishing or phishing is one of the most popular vectors for Sunday scammers and cybercriminals. It is a fraudulent technique consisting in sending a fake email, impersonating a trusted site (bank, insurance, etc.) or a contact, by imitating their logo or their name. Phishing emails often come with attachments or links. Above all, do not open and click on them, or your system will be infected.
A number of symptoms can tell you about the malware infection:
- the unsolicited shutdown of the computer, repeatedly
- a slower connection while there is high data traffic
- intrusive advertising windows (pop-ups)
- system slowness
- recurring program bugs
- unknown web pages instead of your known URLs
Protect against malware
Malware is a real nuisance for infected computers and any connected device whose computer security has not been properly implemented. They are more and more sophisticated, some can be detected by a anti spyware or an anti-virus but others are smarter, it can be difficult to detect them and identify their presence. In order to fight against malware, you can install free anti-malware antivirus software like Panda anti virus or Intego (virus protection solution for Mac). A anti-virus and one firewall (firewall in English) performing are indeed the first line of defense to guard against malware and avoid being infected.
In addition to antivirus utilities, the regular backup of your data (backing up your personal data but also backing up Windows 10 or your OS) is a good way to protect yourself from spyware, the consequences of computer attacks. Consider data backup software to avoid losing important documents.
Do not forget to protect your Facebook account by using a secure password for example. Do NOT save your passwords on your computer ! Avoid clicking on dubious files or links, especially if you are promised money or the sender is unknown to you. More importantly, it is recommended to update its entire system regularly to prevent malicious code from taking advantage of vulnerabilities in your operating system.
Hackers are very skilled in computer system intrusion and data collection. They constantly renew their methods, so vigilance must be in order.