Ensure Your Computer is Potected From Malware
Protecting your computer from viruses and other breaches is a priority. Read tips on how to ensure your computer is not targeted by malware today.
Protecting your computer from viruses and other predatory breaches is a priority. How do you ensure your computer is not targeted by malware during times when every pop-up ad and unfamiliar email sender is a potential threat? Malware and virus protection programs are available today. Options for removing malware from an infected computer are also available. Read ahead for tips on how to ensure your computer is not targeted by malware today.
Malware breaches are often subtle or completely undetectable until it is too late. Identity theft, including the emptying of bank accounts and access to medical records, is only one possible result of malware infections. Primary descriptions and results of malware breaches on your computer include:
Unauthorized permissions changes.
Monetization of personal data (commonly by theft).
Monetization of online behavior (commonly by blackmail, extortion, or ransomware).
Completed without your immediate knowledge.
Malware also takes many stealthy forms, each just as dangerous and potentially damaging as the others. Some forms are bolder than others and inform you of their presence intentionally as a scare tactic. Other forms lurk in the background until the right moments to access passwords, financial accounts and personal data occur.
Malware 201 - Basic Types
Knowing what types of malwares are out there helps you understand the type and level of malware protection software you need to protect your computer. Many consumers aware of the concept of basic computer viruses are simultaneously unaware of many other forms of malwares posing threats today. Some computer users with abnormally slow machines or boot issues erroneously believe a problem exists with a hardware component and do not realize their machine has been infected.
A virus is the most common type of malware and therefore the form most consumers know exists. Viruses are hidden inside suspicious email attachments you receive or video posts urging you to click on external links. Viruses breach then corrupt legitimate files on your computer. Removal of a virus is challenging for some anti-virus and malware programs, so they instead delete corrupted files and place the virus in a cyber-version of isolation or solitary confinement.
Trojans take many deceptive forms and either hide inside legitimate software programs and computer code or replicate and mimic their behavior. Trojans are the most common type of virus-based malware used today and can enter your system in what appear to be the most innocent or necessary of ways. For example, a technical support agent attempts to help you with a program issue might suggest using helpdesk software such as TeamViewer. This type of program allows the support agent access to and temporary control over your computer and files. Remote Access Trojans (RATs) can attach to helpdesk software programs and take over your computer without your knowledge. Banking, rootkit, and backdoor Trojans also exist and excel at delivering viral payloads to victimized computers.
Ransomware is another type of Trojan albeit one with a specialized malware delivery method. Ransomware hides itself inside MicroSoft Word documents, PDF files, slide decks, screenshots and more. When ransomware containment files are opened an inventory process initiates inside your system, which locates the partitions and files susceptible to incurring the most damage possible. Backup files and hard drives are also susceptible to ransomware attacks, which makes this type of malware particularly devastating to many consumers. Ransomware has an even darker side where it allows its creator to access the webcam or camera on your computer, tablet, or phone. Victims are unknowingly recorded, and the videos are then used for potential blackmail and extortion purposes.
Additional Types of Malwares 2021
A keylogger is another type of malware, which monitors computer user’s activity to steal passwords, financial account information and more. Adware infects your browser using quick unexpected downloads to install files on your computer, which cause it to show multiple inconvenient and targeted advertisements. Additional types of malwares in 2021 include:
Bots and botnets (self-propagating malware connected to a central server).
Spyware (collects personal information on multiple devices).
Fileless (changes files already native to your system; ten times harder to eliminate than other malwares).
Rootkits (grants complete administrative access of your computer to hackers).
Worms (target system weakness and install into your network to launch attacks).
Malware and Virus Protection Available Today
Malware and virus protection is increasingly important. Cybercrimes are increasing in frequency and potency each year and protecting your data is crucial to avoiding problems ranging from minor inconveniences to extreme financial hardship and decimated credit ratings. The top malware protection and anti-virus software on the market is reliable, affordable, and effective.
Bitdefender products are tiered with increasing protective features. The Antivirus Plus, Internet Security and Total Security programs sell for $29.99, $39.98, and $44.99 per year respectively and are widely considered the best on the market today. Top features include ransomware protection, online purchase and transaction monitoring and password diversification options. Bitdefender currently has a deal for a 50% discount on ayear subscription to their malware protection plan. A free version is also available with limited features.
Webroot is considered the best malware and virus protection software platform for Apple Mac computers. A misconception still exists in 2021 among some consumers who believe Macs are not susceptible to virus infections. This is not the case, as Macs are indeed vulnerable to phishing, ransomware, adware, and other malwares. Webroot takes up very little space on the operating system of your computer, while still providing quick security scans and excellent protection from phishing. Three programs at increasing levels of features and protections cost $29.99, $44.99, and $59.99 respectively.
Norton is sold in four program tiers, each considered to be the best options available for Windows computers in 2021. The AntiVirus Plus, 360 Standard and 360 Deluxe cost $19.99, $34.99, and $39.99 respectively. The Norton 360 with LifeLock Select program is billed at $99.48 for the first year, then $149.99 each consecutive year. Norton is perhaps the best-known brand name in the anti-virus and malware protection market and its LifeLock Select program offers top-level protection against the worst type of cyber threats. Norton also offers a 30 day free trial of their services. Find out if they can offer you the protection you need.
Removing Malware from an Infected Computer
Removing malware from an infected computer in DIY fashion is possible. The process is not always successful but is worth the effort if you understand the risks and steps. Begin by disconnecting from the internet then follow these steps:
Enter “safe mode” (stops all running programs upon safe boot).
Check activity monitor for suspicious activity among programs still running.
Scan for malware.
Clear your browser cache, history, and cookies.
Delete and reinstall your browser if needed.
Perform a full shut down of your computer.
Perform a normal restart.