Beware of Malware!
Updated: Mar 8
This post may contain useful knowledge that helps you protect your computer. If you don't read this you could be vulnerable to malware and cyber attacks! --
Malware is a short general name given for all sorts of 'malicious software' programs, that are designed to infect your computer and either stop it functioning or steal data. Most people are aware of specific types of malware, such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware or ransomware, some of which will be introduced in our next posts.
Why should we be aware of malware?
Hackers create and distribute malware through the internet, usually because
they want to infect millions of computers at once, not one by one. A simple file or link online reaches to an enormous and unspecified population, and many of them would click on the download button with no suspicion. This is how the subtly disguised malware is activated.
One of the most common jobs of a malware (when activated) is to collect the victim's information. It somehow has access to everything that happens on the computer, because the victim has carelessly downloaded this malicious program. It will track every key press on the keyboard. It will track every web page you visit. It will track every files you see and download. What's even worse: you would not feel anything suspicious until you notice a significant damage. Therefore, it is far more crucial to prevent against malware before it's too late.
How do we prevent?
Install anti-malware (or anti-virus) software
Do regular updates and regular scans on anti-malware
Do not click on a suspicious link online (hover on link to see the actual url)
Do not open or download suspicious files online or in spam mail
Avoid websites with pirated materials
Do not connect to open wi-fi
How do we know if infected?
It shouldn't happen, but if malware ever manages to take over your computer, these are some signs you might notice.
Unknown files are found in Finder>Application programs - Delete them and empty the bin.
Popup ads pop everywhere in desktop or internet browser.
Internet browser starts using a different search engine
“A minimum precaution: keep your anti-malware protections up to date, and install security updates for all your software as soon as they arrive.”
— Barton Gellman