Why You Need to Know About Malware


April 29, 2020

What Does Malware Do?

Spyware, Keyloggers, Ransomware, Root kits and other malicious software such as Trojans, Worms, Viruses, Adware, etc. is software that collects information about the computer user’s activities without their consent and causes harm. Spyware can keep track of keystrokes, check internet browsing history, scan the hard drive for data, keep track of credit card numbers and passwords, share your data and financial details, etc.

Spyware’s main purpose is to share your data with others for the purpose of advertising and illegal profit motives and malicious harm. Has your browser home page changed recently without your action or consent? Often a browser pop-up is created which redirects you to the malicious websites to sell you products and services with realistic looking warnings that you are infected or need to purchase their product.

Often users click on a link and download software both unintentionally and intentionally or let a remote user take control of their computer. Sometimes cyber criminals can contact you initially through an unsolicited phone call or web popup or website or e-mail. It is dangerous, ineffective, and costly and does very little to help your computer run efficiently and safe if you elect to let them take control of your computer or provide them with your personal information.

Always make sure you know the company or individual you are doing business with. Most technology companies such as Microsoft do not contact their customers unsolicited, so beware! Also there is a place for remote access from trusted IT professionals.

Spyware can be installed on a user’s computer without their knowledge because of an open firewall port or not having a firewall set up in the first place. There are both hardware and software firewalls needed on every computer.

How Does Spyware Operate?

Spyware can be installed by a rogue program through a malicious website, an email attachment, outdated, expired or ineffective anti-virus or internet security programs, an attached download, video clips such as you tube, and music. Spyware can even be embedded as part of a legitimate program. Most spyware is designed to download other pieces of software malware to re-infect your system and can be stealth or hidden in nature such as a Root kit.

Some types of spyware can gain complete control over your computer system. No single software program can remove 100% of Spyware. Spyware can jeopardize your personal information and can slow down your internet and computer’s speed dramatically! National surveys claim computer infections are a growing and serious problem, and many computers are infected without the user knowing it. Identity theft and personal information theft is also a big problem worldwide, and can be quite costly.

Beside the questions of ethics and privacy, Spyware steals from the user by using the computer’s memory and CPU resources and also by eating internet bandwidth as it sends information back to the Spyware’s server via the user’s Internet connection. Because Spyware is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

Beware of Malware - How Does Spyware Operate

How Can I Prevent Malware?

A complete computer tune up by a certified, experienced professional will eliminate spyware and fix other issues. The technician will set your computer up with appropriate security programs and utilities, and then explain to you how to use them. Use only one internet security program such as Norton Security, Symantec Endpoint, Kaspersky Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security. In addition, Malwarebytes is an excellent spyware or malware removal program.

Be warned that certain security programs and utilities do not work, work poorly, are malicious in nature, and can conflict with other programs installed on your computer. This is where a professional comes in handy. Always do your Windows updates, use current drivers, update your BIOS (usually done at a computer shop if needed), and use the latest versions of all your applications because of exploited security flaws and stability issues associated with outdated programs.

In conclusion, spyware is a real problem in today’s computer age. Keeping your computer set up and tuned up properly will help prevent problems from occurring. I expertly remove all your malware and recover encrypted ransomware files if necessary and help prevent it from happening in the future with user education!

Happy computing,
Mark Wilcox

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