What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

How to Prevent Malware Attacks? In the world of information technology, viruses are better known as a type of malicious code or programs. Where was written with the intention of changing the way computers operate and was designed to spread from one computer to another. A computer virus itself operates by inserting or attaching itself to a program or document that supports macros (instructions and commands) to execute its code.

Maybe those of you who often use computers often hear the term “Malware“. The malware itself is categorized as a type of destructive virus that is very stubborn and sometimes difficult to remove with ordinary antivirus software. To understand more deeply about malware, you can listen to the following discussion.

What Is Malware?

Malware is software designed to damage and destroys computers and computer systems. The malware itself stands for “Malicious Software”. Examples of malware, in general, are worms, trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware. In certain cases, malware has the potential to infiltrate your online banking system. It can even lock all your data, so you can’t access it again.

Even malware can spread to any type of wired or wireless network. Some types of malware can even spread via Bluetooth connections. WiFi also has vulnerabilities to certain types of attacks. Therefore, it is recommended for users to have a good antivirus to avoid malicious malware attacks.

There is a reason why malware itself was created with a purpose and not just a random thing made. The benefits that malware authors get also vary, from personal information to ransoms. Adware and worms are one of the most common types of malware used on the internet.

Also Read: What is Phishing? Types and How to Prevent Phishing!

Considering people who use this method to provide access to ads without the user’s permission. While the worm spreads to computer networks with the aim of exploiting vulnerabilities in operating systems and causing damage by consuming bandwidth and burdening web servers. Worms can also contain payloads sent from machines that were previously infected by the worm.

There are also other types that are no less dangerous, such as ransomware, which functions by tapping files or important information from users (victims) on the pretext of a ransom that must be paid to the person who created the ransomware.

Types of Malware Attacks

What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

Please note, that malware is divided into several sections based on the type and function. For example, such as ransomware has a function to intercept important information of computer users and so on. For more information, you can refer to the points below.

1. Worm

A worm is a type of malware that spreads copies of itself from computer to computer. The worm can reproduce itself without human interaction and does not need to attach itself to a software program to cause harm. There is a difference between worms and ordinary viruses, namely that the virus must be triggered by the activation of its host. While worms are malicious programs that stand alone and can reproduce and spread automatically after they break into a computer system.

2. Trojan

Trojans are a type of malware that is often disguised as specific software or applications. Although sometimes this virus looks like a normal application that is not suspicious, the trojan itself can have a very influential impact on the computer. The author still remembers having been attacked by this trojan virus on a laptop. The author had to be reinstalled because it damaged the Windows system to hang and could not be used.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the files of a user (victim). The way ransomware works are usually used to intercept data from other users. For example, there is a ransomware actor who wants to tap a victim’s data. Where the perpetrator asks for a ransom to restore access to previously tapped data.

After that, the victim agreed to give a ransom to the perpetrator. In these cases, the victim is usually shown instructions on how to pay the ransom to obtain the decryption key to unlock a computer affected by the ransomware.

4. Adware

Adware is software that displays advertisements without the permission of the computer user (victim). Adware uses browsers to collect your web browsing history by targeting ads that appear to be tailored to your interests. Adware programs are actually not as dangerous as trojans, worms, rootkits, and other forms of malware. However, Adware has a negative impact on users by making computers and browsers run slower due to pop-up ads that appear frequently.

5. Rootkits

Rootkits are malicious software that is very difficult to spot and, very difficult to remove. Rootkits are designed to give unauthorized users (attackers) access to certain computers or programs. After the Rootkit is installed on the target, the Rootkit is difficult to detect, so the attacker can maintain access to the victim’s computer without being noticed.

Causes of Malware

What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

The cause of malware on a computer is influenced by two factors, namely user factors (internal) and system factors (external). Here’s the explanation.

1. User factor

One of the factors that predispose your computer to be exposed to malware infections may come from the user’s own negligence. For example, let’s say you accidentally access a certain site, where the site asks for authentication or notifications.

So unknowingly, it will give malware permission to enter and attack your computer. There are even some sites that show a pop-up where this triggers the computer to download a file or application which causes malware to enter and damage the operating system without your knowing it.

2. System factor

There are also external factors such as weak computer defense systems, things like this are usually caused by a firewall or antivirus application that has expired and needs to be updated. Or it could be that users are lazy in doing Windows updates or cleaning the registry.

So that it causes certain effects on computers such as computers easily shutting down / restarting themselves, easily crashing (not responding), or being difficult to turn on because they are running certain processes.

Signs of a computer infected with Malware

What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

Even if you have installed the best antivirus on your computer, it is possible that a Malware was not detected by the antivirus causing the following signs:

  • Computer slowdown – One of the effects of malware attacks is to slow down the performance of the operating system by burdening the CPU and RAM usage above average which you can check through the Task Manager or the computer’s cooling fan that makes a noise that is louder than usual.
  • Storage space narrows – This is usually by malware hiding in the computer’s storage space causing it to swell. The problem of bloated storage space can also be triggered by bundleware. Bundleware is a term used to collectively describe one or more software included in an add-on file.
  • Computer system crashes easily – Applications or software that frequently crash (not responding) is also an indication that your computer is being attacked by malware. If not fixed immediately will lead to a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), the latter occurred after experiencing a fatal error on the Windows system.
  • Changed browser settings – If you notice changes to your browser’s homepage such as an extension, or a new plugin, then your browser may be infected with malware. This is usually triggered because you click on a link that triggers a pop-up so that certain extensions are installed without the knowledge and permission of the user.
  • The OS defense and antivirus system are down – You could say that an incident like this might happen without the user’s knowledge. This problem can be triggered by powerful malware that can hide deep within your computer system, evade detection, and perform malicious injections without causing any alarm or warning from the computer.

How to Prevent Malware Attacks

What Is Malware? How to Prevent Malware Attacks

There are some tips and solutions that you can do to prevent malware attacks. For example, updating the system, being careful about entering personal data into the site, to installing an antivirus. For more information, you can refer to the following points.

1. Always update your system

The operating system has a built-in defense system which we commonly refer to as a firewall. It is this firewall that eliminates certain files that have the potential to harm the operating system and deletes them. By regularly updating the operating system, at least your system’s defense has been strengthened with new encryption so that it can reduce the risk of entering suspicious files that threaten the system.

2. Be careful when opening Email attachments

Messages from the attachment box Emails you receive do not always contain important information. There are also people who are not responsible for sending certain messages that if opened can harm your computer. For example, ransomware where data from users will be intercepted and detained by criminals until the victim sends a certain amount of money to the attacker.

3. Think twice before clicking a specific link

This is no less important, usually, a user is negligent in his activities on the internet, which leads to the opening of malware access into the computer system. Usually, those who often use this method are Adware, this type of malware will continuously send pop-up ads which has an impact on slowing down the performance of the computer system.

4. Don’t believe pop-ups asking you to download certain apps

In downloading an application you should always be vigilant and careful, especially if you download it through a non-official site from the application maker. Because it could be that the site is a trap prepared by certain elements in injecting programs that contain dangerous malware.

5. Use the best antivirus and cleaner

If you don’t want to be complicated, you can install a trusted antivirus application and registry cleaner which can function in protecting your computer system from the dangers of malware and software damage through its security system. You can also install AdBlock for your browser to avoid pop-up attacks that can risk spreading malware through certain sites.

Conclusion

Malware is a real threat to computer and smartphone users. This is because the impact itself is capable of making users uncomfortable and can even be detrimental to the level of criminal acts. Therefore, it is also important for you to equip yourself with knowledge about preventing malware and the like so that you can avoid unwanted things.

A brief review on the meaning of malware along with the signs and how to prevent it. Share articles on your social media to make them more useful and rewarding. If you have any questions or opinions you would like to express, write through the comments field below. Thank you!