Malware, also known as the Malicious software, is designed specially to cause damage to a computer system, control user’s information without the knowledge and as well as intervene is important functions. This term “Malware” was coined in 1990 by Yisrael Radai, a computer scientist.
There are various types of Malware such as:
- Virus: Virus is a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and has a harmful effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data files.
- Worm: Worms can replicate themselves in order to spread to other computers. It targets computers with low security.
- Spyware: This type of malware spies on the user and collects information without the knowledge of the person.
- Trojan horse: This is kind of a scamming software which appears to be normal but after installation, it shows its malware properties.
- Ransomware: This is when hackers encrypt the data and then ask for ransom money to decrypt it.
Other types of Malware are adware, scareware, rootkit, backdoor virus and etc.
Malware are hazardous to the Computer systems, servers and networks. Important and personal information can be stolen, the files can get encrypted, the data files can get corrupted and a lot of functions may hinder if the computer is infected by a malware. In order to keep the PC safe from Malware, there are a number of safety measures that can be taken into account. Let us have a look at some of the safety tips that will keep your PC safe from potential threats and malware.
1. Install an Anti-virus/Anti-Malware software
Most PC’s, such as those with Windows, have an anti-virus already installed. Make sure to update it whenever a new update comes to keep the security in check. If your PC does not have an Anti-virus installed, make sure you install it as soon as possible. Some of the well-known ones are Avast antivirus, 360 safeguard, AVG Antivirus, and many more. Don’t forget to do regular quick security scans and weekly deep scans of your PC.
2. Turn on your firewall
Go into the firewall settings on your PC and make sure to turn it on. This will prevent your PC to access sites that might be harmful to your PC and as well as prevent harmful downloads to your PC.
3. Never use an Unsecured Wi-Fi Connection
Often we visit public places and connect our phones and laptops to open Wi-Fi for free internet service. Just imagine if it’s too easy to connect to a Wi-Fi, how easy it will be to get connected to your computer though that Wi-Fi. That free internet service might cost you a lot in future. Anyone can hack into your computer and access it using that free Wi-Fi.
4. Do Not Click on Unknown Links/Attachments
You might have experienced this that you get an unusual email which requires you to click on the link provided or download the attachment. Never do that! Never click on links from unknown sources or the links that are there on unsecured websites. The attachments in the emails might be full of viruses and once you download them, the computer is not yours anymore. Make sure to scan all the files before you download and open them on your computer.
5. Use Secure Passwords
This is one of the most important thing that you need to do in order to keep your PC safe from malware. Keep a strong password which needs to be entered to turn on your PC. Same goes for your other accounts, keep long and complex passwords which are hard to be broken down.
6. Securing Your Network, i.e. Wi-Fi
Secure your Wi-Fi connection using the WPA or WPA2 encryption and only share the password with your family members. If your friends visit you and they need the password, provide them a guest password for a limited time of use, not the actual one.
7. Don’t Put an Unknown Flash Drive into Your PC
Be very careful when you put in the flash drives. They might have the malware inside them and once you put them onto your PC the malware will be copied to your computer. It is better to not connect any flash drive from an unknown source. For example, if you find a USB on the road, do not pick it up and connect it to your computer to kill the curiosity of what is inside it.
8. Screen Pop-ups
Screen pop-ups often trick us into clicking them and doing what they are asking for resulting in installation of a malware in our computers. For example, you might be tricked into doing a free scan of your files to check if there is any malware. Instead of checking the files for malware, the scanner will scan all your data files and steal the information that is stored on your computer. Moreover, keep an ad blocker on to prevent your screen getting the ad pop-ups
9. Spam Filter
Turn on the spam filter in your emails and other social media accounts to automatically send all the suspicious emails and messages into the spam folder. Be very cautious with your spam folder and always scan the files and links before you click on them. You may use Virustotal.com to scan the links and attachments.
10. Keep Your Browsers Updated
Last but not the least, keep your internet browser updated as well since it will keep the ad blocker up to date as well which will keep your computer safe from any harmful ads and links.
Make sure to follow these security tips to keep your personal computers safe. These measures can also be applied to other systems such as, mobile phones and gaming consoles. In case your PC is infected with a Malware, quickly run a security scan and remove whatever is causing the malware. Sometimes it may be hard to do so, contact a cyber-security professional to assist you in the process of securing your computer again.