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Unraveling the Mystery of Malware

Malware is everywhere. You can’t really escape it. In fact, 85% of all malware is distributed via the web.

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What is Malware?

Malware is a term meaning “malicious software.” This is code that is designed to gain unauthorized access, or even damage a computer. There are several types of malware such as adware, spyware, keyloggers, true viruses, worms, ransomware or any type of software that modifies files on a computer without authorization.

Malware creation is on the rise. Malware is created to make money through forced advertising, stealing data, spreading email spam or child pornography, or to extort money.

How Did I Get Infected?

Many factors can leave a computer vulnerable to infection by malware. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Using an old, out-dated, or unsupported operating system
    – Operating systems that are supported typically get regular updates to their code which helps to tighten their security and make them run more efficiently.
  • Opening email attachments
    – NEVER open email attachments that you weren’t expecting, or from email addresses that you don’t recognize.
  • Web sites
    – Visiting unscrupulous websites is just asking for a malware attack on your computer. If it looks shady, it probably is.

Legitimate websites are also a huge vector. News, social, video sites often have ad networks that independently control the content of the advertisements, allowing malware in regularly,  before someone reports it and they can react to remove it.

Ok, How Do I Get Rid of It?

Take your computer to your local computer professional, such as Geek Easy Computers. The majority of malware today can’t be eliminated by simply running some software. Malware is devious and has many methods for replicating itself, or ensuring that it can’t simply be deleted or detected. At Geek Easy Computers, we use an ever-evolving process that involves tools and manual methods of removing malware, detecting damage to the system, and repairing it.

It’s a time intensive process, but it ensures that every bit of the malware is removed, so that it doesn’t “respawn” at a later time. This a method also ensures that your data is left as intact as possible, depending on the type of malware infection you have.

How Do I Stop It From Coming Back?

The best way to combat malware is to prevent it from ever getting on your computer in the first place. This is achieved through a combination of software protection, and good common sense practices.

First, let’s discuss the software. These days to be totally protected you need a layered approach. We recommend both a highly rated retail anti-malware program AND a highly rated retail anti-virus program. Why both? Because they compliment each other. And although malware is the more prevalent issue, viruses are still out there and can still cause trouble if you are not protected from them. Geek Easy currently recommends:

Anti-Virus: Bit Defender Internet Security or Anti-Virus Plus 2015
Anti-Malware: Malware Bytes Pro

Both of these have been rated highly by the computer industry at large. We personally use this software and have had great results with them both.

The other way to help ensure that you don’t get malware is to be aware of what is happening to your computer. Always make sure your anti-virus/malware software is up-to-date. The same goes for your operating system. Don’t open unknown email attachments, or download anything from unknown or unfamiliar sources. If a window opens up that wants you to okay a download, and you aren’t sure about it, close the window and go to the actual website and download the update from there. Stay away from shady websites. Don’t illegally download or stream video or music. Those places are havens for malware and other problematic software. Illegal torrents are another great way to get infected.

And finally as always, if you have any questions or are just unsure about something, give us a call. We are always happy to answer any questions. Remember, we want to make your technology EASIER!!

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One Response to “Unraveling the Mystery of Malware”

  • There have been many coming to service centers with malware issues. Like mentioned here, these are easily spread through the web. People using the internet should definitely instal some antivirus and protect these malware entering your system.

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