What Exactly is Malware and How Do You Avoid It?

Filed under: IT Support

Victoria Rausch
Owner, Davik Consulting, Inc.

You hear a lot about malware these days, and it’s fairly common for people to ask “what exactly is malware?”

It’s short for “malicious software” and essentially refers to any intrusive software created by hackers to infiltrate computer systems, damage or destroy them, or steal data. Pretty much everyone is affected by malware at some point, including businesses.

Malware can be divided into seven main types:

  • Viruses
  • Trojan viruses
  • Worms
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Ransomware
  • Fileless malware

They often come attached to documents or files that you download, often accidentally. At other times malware poses as a helpful piece of software that claims to perform one function, but really does something else within the system. Some collect data from your computer and report it back to another remote user. And in the case of ransomware, the program might access your data, encrypt or “lock” it, and then demand a ransom from you in exchange for its return.

They all work in different ways, but luckily we can prevent and ward off malware with the right detection and defense tools.

How do I protect myself/my business from malware? Focusing on prevention tools is the first step. But don’t make the mistake of thinking your entire network is safe! Some very advanced types of malware can still infiltrate protected systems. You must also utilize programs that continually monitor your system and detect invaders, and that notify you right away if something goes wrong. The right malware protection will involve not just one program, but multiple layers of different safeguards.

What if I get malware anyway? Installing the right programs onto your computer will mean that you are notified right away when something goes wrong. Call Victoria Rausch with Davik Consulting to help protect your system or fix it if you already have been the target of an attack.  888-RING-MY-TECH