If you want to know how to stop malware, this article can help! Has your computer been acting weird lately? Don’t get mad – get even! Know that frequent error messages, sluggish running speeds, excessive pop-ups, massive spam emails, phishing attempts, hoax alerts, loss of data and other strange behavior are all clear signs of infections from malware.
Malware is a blend of two words: malicious and software. It is software specifically designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without your knowledge or consent. It is commonly referred to as a computer virus because it contaminates your computer with programs that come in many different forms such as dishonest adware, Trojan horses, spyware, worms, viruses and crimeware.
Not just annoying anymore, malware is the most common pathway for criminals straight to you via the Internet. According to research done by F-Secure, a global leader in providing internet security, the odds are high this year that you will be a victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the United States.
Now that we know what’s out there – we don’t have to take it anymore! Here are some self-defense tips so that you can avoid being at the mercy of all those dirty tricks and the fear and frustration they cause us.
Prepare a Plan: Think about how and you use the internet. How many computers do you use? Does each computer have protection from malware? Did you know sometimes it’s necessary to install and use more than one product?
Arm Yourself: Ensure that you have updated Internet security software installed on your computer. You can purchase security programs for your computer but there are also excellent free virus protection and malware removal programs available online.
Resist Temptation: Don’t fall for pop-up ads that promise free money or products! Don’t click on any pop-up ads that tell you your computer is infected. Don’t click on links in emails. Delete any attachments from unknown senders. Be skeptical and don’t download free screensavers, books and programs – they usually come with strings attached.
Strike back: If you suspect your computer is infected with malware, immediately stop all your shopping, banking and other online activities that involve user names, passwords and other sensitive personal information and run a complete scan on your computer. Turn off your wireless adapter when you’re not using it. Back up important files and encrypt personal information. Choose passwords easy enough for you to remember that can’t be easily figured out by other people. Change your passwords frequently.
Use common sense: Even with all these fabulous protection programs installed on your computer, it’s still possible that you will be attacked by new forms of malware. Some malware can even burrow deep in your computer’s system and run deadly silent and invisible. Don’t be lazy, set aside time to reformat and reinstall your system every single time you get a malware infection.
That’ll teach ’em: The final irony of this whole situation is that Internet security experts will always be at war with malware. Greedy cybercriminals are constantly one step ahead, inventing clever new methods to steal your personal data. Stop the new wave of computer criminals from taking over the internet by not making it easy for them!