In this pandemic, you can stay safe by staying indoors and working from home, but that cannot be said for your personal and professional data saved on your computer. Working from home means no IT support and if your computer is hit by malware or virus things can get very dire. Hence it becomes an employee's or individual's responsibility to prevent malware attacks on computers. Considering there is a spike in malware attacks globally, the need of the hour is awareness of different malware attacks and how to shield your computer from them.
What is Malware and what are its types?
Malware is malicious software or code that is designed to harm a computer’s performance. There are various types of Malware that exist such as Adware, Backdoor, Ransomware, Spyware, Trojan horse, Virus, Worm, Keyloggers, and many more.
- Virus: A type of malware that spreads by copying itself from folder to folder or drive to drive to harm system performance.
- Worm: Worm is a dangerous malware. It can easily spread to other computers via a network by copying itself without being attached to a program or run by a user.
- Backdoor: It is used to access your computer without any consent. And it can remain in your systems for years to secretly monitor your activities.
- Adware: It is malicious software. Once installed on your PC, it automatically shows banner ads, pop-up windows that can’t be closed, or downloads advertisements.
- Spyware: It is a kind of Malware that secretly collects the personal and professional data of a user.
- Trojan horse: A harmful software that looks legitimate but secretly steals your data and harms computer performance.
How Malware affects your PC?
Malware on your computer can access your personal or office data, send fake emails from your account, alter or delete program files, slows down your computer performance, displays unsolicited ads, encrypts files without your permission, demands you to pay for a private key to decrypt the encrypted files, system crashes, creates new files and folders without your knowledge, controls your activity without permission, etc.
How Malware spreads?
There are various ways through which malware can attack your computer. Some of the most common ways are:
- Visiting a website that is infected with malware
- Downloading free or unreliable software from the internet that secretly contains malware
- Clicking a gift or coupon button, fake error message, or pop-up window that automatically starts downloading a malware
- Opening or downloading an email attachment that contains malware
- Connecting virus-infected devices to your system
How to Prevent Malware Attacks on the Computer?
1. Install Anti-virus Software
Making use of anti-virus software helps you to scan the download for malware before opening it. Regularly running a complete scan of your computer for malware, helps you identify its early detection, and thus you can control malware spreading. A reliable anti-virus software also provides regular updates to protect your system against newly created malware.
2. Regularly Update Computer And Softwares
Whenever the Windows/ Mac operating system comes with the latest update, install them. Keeping your Windows or Mac device update to date fixes various security issues that prevent malware or virus infection. Similarly, updating your computer software to its latest version also reduces the threat of newly created malware.
3. Do Not Download Software From Unreliable Sources
Most of the users try to find alternative ways of downloading paid software for free to solve their problems. This way they end up downloading software or pop-ups that secretly install malware onto their computer. Therefore, it is necessary for you to be conscious while downloading software or clicking on coupons or dubious links from the internet. In simple terms, do not trust every download over the web, they can be harmful.
4. Back-Up Important Data Regularly
One of the safest ways to prevent malware is by regularly taking a backup of important files to an external storage drive or cloud storage like Google Drive. Taking backup of important data not only saves you from malware or virus attacks on your computer but also helps you in various data loss scenarios.
Apart from setting up a strong password to stop business data theft, disable the AutoPlay option for the external storage drive to scan it before accessing the backup data saved on it. This way you can safeguard your computer against both malware attacks and data theft.
In case, if you have lost data because of corruption or malware attack, then you can restore it using a data recovery software like Remo Recover. It is a user-friendly tool to get back over 300 file formats such as photos, videos, raw images, audio files, documents, and many more.
5. Email Security And Spam Filter
Once you receive an email, cross-verify the attachments and download them only if it is necessary. You can do this by enabling the show file extension in your email. Make sure you avoid downloading .exe email attachments since they can be used to install malware like Ransomware. Moreover, you can also set spam filters to stop receiving unwanted emails.
6. Use Standard Account
Windows and various other operating systems allow users to create one Admin and many standard accounts. Making use of the Admin account for professional or office work and a standard account for tasks that compromise data security can help you avoid malware attacks related to your Admin account.
7. Spread Awareness On Malware
Educating people on malware spreads can prevent malware attacks on computer. The basic reason for increasing phishing or malware attacks is the lack of awareness about it among users. When users get exposed to different types of malware and various ways to control it, then they can stay alert from these attacks.
Share this article with your team, friends, or family to help them know how to avoid malware attacks in 2021.
Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.
As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.