Most computer users have heard of Malware and in many cases have had to deal firsthand with an infection on their system. Malware is while relatively new over the last couple of decades, has developed into a major threat both to the individual computer user and vast networks operated by corporations and even governments. The threat to your personal information- even medical history- financial information, and more could be at risk today from the threat of malware. Learn what malware is, what it affects, and most importantly how to avoid a malware infection. If you are one of the unlucky ones who is already infected, we will discuss how to remove malware from any computer based system.
Malware is essentially a play on words which has evolved into normal use to describe a computer infected with a malicious program. We all use programs for a whole host of computer based operations such as common word processing programs, music players, web browsing, and so on. What is unique to malware is that there is no part of the program which is designed to help you operate your computer. Most malware masquerades as non-malicious programs, such as Adobe, and in this way are introduced most often to your system. Malware programs cost the world as a whole several billion dollars annually in lost productivity, stolen information and oftentimes theft of identity. The bottom line: all malware is bad and if you have anything on your system- and it’s oftentimes hard to tell if there is- you need to eliminate it immediately.
Many computer users think they are not the ones in the target hairs of a potential malware program. If I don’t visit adult sites, don’t use programs from questionable sources, and use a program (i.e. Norton, etc.) to protect my system, I’ll be safe. Unfortunately this could not be farther than the truth. Most malware infections are on personal computer systems- the pc in your own home- and most are present even with the presence of a protective anti-malware software. So many users want to know- how can I avoid getting these potentially disastrous infections of malware. These are the most common ways below malware is introduced to a user’s system. While most of the behaviors listed can be avoided, oftentimes there is no guaranteed way to avoid the initial malware infection.
• Downloading a program from an unknown source: you may be updating your latest Flash file but you are not downloading from where you think. In these cases a browser or website can mimic a safe site so you end up downloading a malware program thinking its safe and necessary.
• Clicking on links from unwanted or spoofed emails. These links can direct you to unsafe websites which can oftentimes automatically introduce a download into your system.
• Opening an unsafe program included in a message. Most major email carriers block executable files from being sent however they can easily be manipulated to pass security checks and land in your email.
• Visiting websites that are infected with malware.
Fighting Back against Malware
While its clear that malware can enter your system through a variety of routes and hidden methods, there is some good news here. Malware can be eliminated successfully from your system and you can take steps to help avoid an infection in the future. The reason programs such as Norton, Panda, etc. cannot adequately protect your system from an infection in the first place is because malware is constantly evolving. Just like the human flu virus there are mutations and constant change in how these programs enter your system, how they hide themselves, and how they are eventually are rooted out. If you are infected with malware, the most obvious sign is slowing computer or popup ads which are hard to remove. Cleaning your system will help but your behavior online will help your system stay clean in the future.