All about Malware and Information Privacy

Malicious software, also known as malware has been around for decades now and its main purpose is to gain access to sensitive information you store on your computer, then send it to the malware creator. Through malware malicious persons can gain access to your computer and makes it malfunction or steal your data, so you need to protect against that the best way you possibly can.

There are numerous types of malware, in the form of adware, spyware, Trojans, worms, viruses, rogueware, ransomware and so on. Usually malware is disguised as or even embedded in non-malicious files, which means that we need to be extra careful when it comes to opening new files that we receive via internet, especially from people we don’t know.

Most of the malware we can find online uses different techniques, but usually it wants to raise money in one form or another. CryptoLocker, a very powerful malware locks your files and encrypts them so they can’t be recovered unless you pay a fee. Other malware install ads on your computer and they make you click them so they receive money from them. Even more, there are some forms of malware that steal your data and their creator can sell it to anyone interested, thus making money off you.

A lot of applications are vulnerable to malware and exploits. While applications and operating systems are usually harder to approach by malware, you can easily find various malware types taking advantage of browser plugins such as Java, Adobe Flash Player or Adobe Reader.

The most proficient types of malware are posing such as messages / notifications from important companies or government, telling you that you either need to give up your data or pay a tax.

Since smartphone use is increasing each and every day, more and more malware types are discovered for the mobile operating systems, which mean that it’s indeed crucial to install a mobile malware app in order to stay safe.

kaspersky-infographic-possible-consequences-cyber-attacks-warfare-malware-cause-effect-consumer-corporation-enterprise-governemntal-laws

Infographic “Possible Consequences of Cyber Attacks” by Kaspersky – click for large version

Unfortunately, dozens of types are appearing each day, and they do tend to target many of the applications that we have on our computers. From PDF readers to audio players, no app is safe against the malware spread.

Fortunately installing antivirus software should solve most of the problems, but it’s really important to avoid unsafe websites or downloading files from unknown sources, as these are the main sources of malware infections.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to say what the future will hold in regards to malware. What we think is that malware will spread even more, but the antivirus apps will become better and better to stop malware. But this doesn’t mean that malware will disappear, not at all, it will always be available online, so we need to make sure that we have are careful what websites we visit. Having a good online behavior will save us a lot of trouble when it comes to malware.

The most widely spread types of malware comes in the form of email attachments, so extra care is needed when dealing with emails from unknown senders.

Will we ever get rid of malware? Most probably not, because there will always be people with malefic intentions that try to gain access to your info and your money. Protecting yourself against these threats is very important, so install a few security apps on each of your computer. An antivirus, a firewall and malware cleaner can help a lot when it comes to preventing and removing malware infections, so use them as often as possible to protect your sensitive data. Remember, no malware can reach your data unless you provide some way to access it.

Image credit: Justin Brown / Eugene Kaspersky

Alexandru Tanase
A man with a passion for writing, be it news, software or game reviews or something else.
Alexandru Tanase
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Alexandru Tanase

A man with a passion for writing, be it news, software or game reviews or something else.