Any computer program or software designed to damage your computer, server, client, or computer network can be said to be a malware. Some malwares are obvious and can be avoided with a little bit of precaution. While others are sneaky and can creep into your system via emails, webpages, flash drives or untrusted web portals. Whether you are a Mac or a PC user, your computer is always vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals.
What are the types of malware I should be aware of?
Ransomeware is a computer program that takes over your system and threatens to destroy your data unless the ransom is paid. This malware has created havoc for the last couple of years and care should be taken not to become a victim of it. Formating your harddrive or submitting to the demands of the hackers can bail you out of a Ransomeware attack.
Spyware is another form of malware used to spy or steal your data. It is a program– if installed on your hard disk– can capture and send information from your Windows PC to the attackers.
Installing an anti-keylogging software is the only way to detect a keylogger. A keylogger is a computer program that captures the keys struck on a keyboard. A key logger program is generally used to retrieve vital information like passwords, banking information, etc.
Some important tips to protect your Windows PC from Malware
1. Secure your home wireless network
Your home network could be a router or a wifi hotspot created on your phone. The best way to protect this network is by setting a complicated and lengthy password. This will prevent freeloaders and hackers from entering your home network. By using a password for your router, you also protect other devices like smartphones or tablet computers that the other members of your family must be using.
2. Install a dependable anti-malware software
An antimalware protects your computer against harmful viruses and malware by some tried and tested strategies like sandboxing, signature-based malware detection, and behavior-based malware detection. When your computer is potentially under threat, the anti-malware program can stop you from visiting a suspected site or prevent the other parts of your hard drive from getting infected.
3. Always keep the operating system updated
Some people carelessly use their Mac under the assumption that it is more secure than Windows. Mac indeed has some built-in features to protect the device from certain malware but both Mac and Windows(also Linux) are equally vulnerable to malware. This is why it is essential to update the Operating System the moment a new update is available. If your system is always connected to the internet, you can select auto-update in your system settings. Your PC will quietly get updated in the background without you having to intervene.
The bottom line
Next time, be aware when you download a free game on your computer or click on an email attachment without verifying the sender first. It can be malware. This is how they sneak into your device. In some rare cases, some legitimate software also carries malware. This can be detected with an anti-malware program. To conclude, take every preventive step listed in this post and avoid becoming another victim of cybercriminals.