Malware

What is Malware?

A virus is a file written with the sole intention of doing harm, or for criminal activity. There are many types of virus. Viruses and spyware are also known as ‘malware’.

Viruses and malware are not technically the same, all viruses are forms of malware, but not all malware are viruses. Malware is short for Malicious Software, and it is software, that can cause harm to your computer. Malware can consist of; Viruses, Adware, Spyware, Worms, Randomware etc.

 

Viruses and spyware can attack your computer via the following means:

  • Opening infected email attachments such as .exe files.
  • Opening infected files from web-based digital file delivery companies (for example Hightail – formerly called YouSendIt, and Dropbox).
  • Visiting corrupt websites.
  • Via the internet, undetected by the user (worms are an example of this).
  • Macros in application documents (word processing, spreadsheets etc)
  • USB connected devices (e.g. memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players).
  • CDs/DVDs.

Viruses and spyware can cause very serious consequences, such as identity theft; fraud; corruption of data, a slow or unusable computer.

Virus & Spyware Protection

Apart from installing security software and keeping it updated, there are other ways in which to keep your computer protected against viruses and spyware:

  • Do not open any files attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy source.
  • Be careful with USB connected devices (e.g. memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players) as they are very common carriers of viruses.
  • Do not open any files from web-based digital file delivery companies (e.g. YouSendIt, Dropbox) that have been uploaded from an unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy source.
  • Buy only reputable software from reputable companies.
  • When downloading free software, do so with extreme caution
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