It can be easy to say you should mitigate malware effects on a machine; however, there is more to it in practice.
You may not be aware you have an issue until your PC behaves unusually. You may think it is a virus, and in one way it is, yet malware can do much more damage to your device and your identity while online and off.
You may be surprised how easy such infections happen as it can be as simple as installing an infected piece of software or accidentally clicking on a link in an email. (Read Best Free Malware Removal For Android)
Here you can learn more about malware (malicious software), how it can affect your devices, and any users security.
What is Malware Attacks?
You may never see it, yet malware is software cyber criminals use to gain access or attack a computer, organization network, or device. In most cases, they access these without a victim’s knowledge.
Besides the dodgy links or infected files and software, you find on the internet. You can find many other types of new attacks cybercriminals use to garner personal information. Malware can consist of viruses, trojan horses, spyware, and ransomware.
Malware threats are mainly on Microsoft Windows because of its popularity, yet you can even have them on macOS, Android, and iOS. (Learn How to Launch Chrome In Safe Mode)
Mobile ransomware attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, most likely because of the popularity of phone use to access the internet rather than call someone.
Here you can see the different kinds of malware attacks:
- Exploit Kits: Malicious toolkits attackers use to search for software vulnerabilities on a computer or mobile device.
- Drive-by-download: These happen when users visit a malicious website hosting an exploit kit. A user needs no interaction apart from visiting the infected webpage. The exploit kit injects malware via searching for browser vulnerabilities.
- Malvertising: A prevalent threat among criminals where they purchase legitimate advertising space, yet malicious code is embedded in the ad. Similar to the above, no interaction is required by a user for infection.
- MitM: Man-in-the-middle attacks use poorly secured and typically public Wi-Fi routers. Hackers use programs to scan the router looking for weaknesses like poor passwords. After compromising the vulnerability, they insert themselves, so a computer has to pass them to access a website. Here they gather passwords and account information. Man-in-the-browser attacks are similar, yet the malware is on the users computer.
- Social engineering: A popular new malware delivery technique, which involves the manipulation of human emotions. Phishing via email, using instant messages, social media are some of the areas they use this. Scare tactics are the most common, like those used in a ransomware attack.
How Do You Mitigate a Virus?
If you wish to mitigate malware effects on a machine, you can use the following best practice list to see what you should do to protect your devices and computers. (Read 5 Best VPNs That Do Not Keep Logs)
To prevent a malware infection involves a combination of software solutions, vigilance, and education. Make sure to use the following security practice options to help on your systems:
- Check the sender’s email addresses, and don’t open or reply to suspicious emails, links, or attachments.
- Confirm the authenticity of suspicious emails. Check with the sender, and if you can’t authenticate emails, delete them.
- Use spam filters and anti-virus to filter harmful emails. Keep these running and up to date at all times for an organization.
- Practice keeping your OS and Office updated regularly with security patches as they are available.
- Disable macro options in Microsoft Office, especially for company use, unless you need them.
- Uninstall third-party programs Adobe Flash and Java, if they are not required.
- Discontinue the use of old OS such as Windows XP. Microsoft stopped support of this operating system in 2014.
- Adjust browser security settings using the highest protection available you require.
- Back up data regularly and retain archived backups.
How Can You Protect Against Malware and Viruses?
If you see anything strange with your computer, you can use the preventive measures here to offer protection against ransomware, phishing, and crypto-jacking.
Here’s the best practice you ought to follow to secure your data system and networks.
- Only ever use trusted Anti-virus and Anti Malware Software
- Set up systems to carry out regular scans and stay updated with always-on monitoring
- Always update the operating system with the latest security. Use feature updates once these are bug-free.
- Make sure you only use secure networks that are encrypted. If not encrypted, use a VPN for your encryption.
- Be sure any person using the computer for work or play understands common sense when using browsers
- Take care of your personal information and files
- Keep abreast of the latest threats and attacks
How Do I Remove Malware from My System?
Here’s the steps you need to follow to remove malware from your computer.
- Disconnect the PC from the internet: This stops any communication with the malware server. If you need to download an anti-malware tool, do so as quickly as possible before you disconnect or use another computer and a USB.
- Use safe mode: PCs booting into safe mode isolates issues and allows your PC to perform checks as it runs with a minimal set of programs and services or drivers it needs to operate.
- Don’t log into any accounts: Malware wants your information. Don’t log into any accounts you have until you remove the malware.
- Delete all your temporary files: Do this before you scan as malware can hide here, or if not, it does make your scans faster without scanning files that are not needed.
- Check Activity Monitors: In the monitor, you can see everything running, although you couldn’t do this if you were a victim of ransomware as your PC would be locked.
- Open the activity program on each local machine on the network by typing in the search bar and entering “resource monitor.” Select any program you don’t recognize and select end process.
- Run your malware program: On a business network, you ought to run this on all devices even if there is just one infected system. To prevent the spread at home, run a scan on every computer a person uses to avoid the spread of your local home network.
One of the best ways how to avoid malware is to avoid getting a free ride onto your systems. At the same time, you can always get it by downloading free software. You can eliminate many risks using a VPN service for all your communications. (Read How To Stop DNS Hijacking)
A VPN uses military-grade encryption to secure all your connections on all your devices. They are quickly becoming the best form of protection to keep your data safe and secure online. (Read our Top VPN Picks)