What is Malware?

Malware is a shortened form of “malicious software.”  Malware is intended to access and infect your computer without detection.  It includes many types of threats to your computer like spyware, key-loggers, true viruses, worms, and others.  Malware is classified as “malware” due to the intent of the creator to cause harm rather than the features or specific type of code involved.

 Malware is a tool used by hackers and organized internet crime. The profit is made through forced advertising (adware), stealing sensitive information (spyware), distribution of email spam (zombie computers), or to extort money (ransomware).

Ways Your Computers may be More Vulnerable:

  1. If there are defects in the operating system design.
  2. If all computers on the same network are running the same OS and settings.
  3. When users are given too many permissions and/or weaker security settings.
  4. When operating systems or applications are running in outdated versions and missing security patches that have been released in updates.

A Few Ways to Protect Yourself from Malware:

  1. Be cautious of what email attachments you open.
  2. Be smart when searching the internet. Sites that are set up just to offer free software, free programs or other file downloads are far more likely to be malware hosts.  If a site looks or sounds suspicious, stay away from it.
  3. Install a good antivirus program and keep it updated.
  4. Ask your IT professional to conduct routine system scans and checks. This simple step will detect any compromises early.

Malware is created at a fast pace – new forms are being released daily.  The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true here.  It’s better to stay alert and be proactive in preventing a malware infection than to deal with the after-effects of an intrusion.