The Dreaded Malware
Malware, it’s a word that has been passed around quite a bit in the recent years, but we find that a lot of people just don’t know what malware means. Â I’d like to break it down for you, and I promise to keep the techno-babble out of it. Â Malware is bad, there are no two ways around it. Â It infects your computer with unwanted stuff that not only bogs operations down, but it can also steal your information!
Now, don’t immediately think that because you have malware that the bank accounts you access from home are compromised. Â While there is truth behind this, it isn’t quite the norm. Typically malware will attempt, with great persistance I might add, to force you into buying something you just don’t need. Â Ever have a pop-up come up saying, “Your PC is infected with 48 viruses, click here to remove them now,” and you click on it only for some shady website to ask for fifty bucks and your credit card info? Â Yeah, we’ve seen it all too.
There is only one thing I can say to this; DON’T DO IT! Â They are trying to make you pay money and possibly steal your credit card information.
Not all malware is quite as malicious as the above example, and there are varying degrees of “bad” that any one piece of malware can be. Â The worst we tend to call viruses, we hate those the most.
You may be asking yourself, “Jacob, where does malware come from?”
The answer to this is really hard, so I’ll give you some examples; porn sites, illegal download sites, myspace, facebook (don’t freak yet, I’ll get into this in a moment), “free” casino sites, and a lot more that are impossible to list.
You saw me say Facebook above, and now you are freaking out thinking that you can’t connect with dear Aunt Sally because it may cost you money or lost data in the long run. Â Luckily, this isn’t quite the case, malware coming from Facebook is very rare, and almost always comes from people that install applications within the website itself. Â Your best bet to avoid these is to just avoid installing all the; “See who’s coming to your page,” “Which Twilight character are you?,” and “See your horoscope today!,” applications. Â They may seem cool, but some of them can take you to webpages with embedded malware.
I’ve got a couple tips you can take to try and avoid all these problems as much as possible.
1.) Install a secondary web browser, such as Firefox or Google Chrome, these have more built in protection that internet explorer and they tend to do a better job of protecting you. Â This isn’t to say they are fool proof.
2.) Practice safe web browsing. Â Don’t visit pornography sites, illegal downloading sites, or any website that may seem fishy. Â If you have a question about whether it seems like you may get something, you probably can.
3.) Always have a virus scanner running. Â Even if you are using a free alternative such as Avast!, AVG, or Microsoft Security Essentials. Â Having something running can pick up on the viruses that carry malware along with them, and hope to get rid of them.
I hope that you have a better understanding of malware now, and how to avoid it, but if you ever have any questions, feel free to contact any of us at Your Information Technologies to help.
June 15, 2011
Â· jake Â· One Comment
Tags: 7, avast, avira, computer, comstock, kalamazoo, laptop, malware, microsoft security essentials, mse, portage, repair, richland, sales, service, seven, spyware, virus, viruses, vista, windows, xp Â· Posted in: Tech Tips