By: Ojewunmi Tolu/ www.africanakua.com, Nigeria
In simple terms malware are malicious software.
They are designed with the sole aim of bringing damage to your devices either by data theft or by causing havoc to users. Anybody could be a victim of malware attack as long as their data could be accessed online. Besides anybody who makes use of the internet a great deal or transacts business online stands a great risk.
Do you know most malware are spread unknowingly and they cause havoc to online users? Most malware that are out there rely on users to take action of some kind in order for them to manifest.
Being a mobile phone (or smart devices) user does not exempt you from the rules of not being attacked by malware or hackers.
There are various malware out there that are serious threats to your devices. They include: Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware, Worms, Adware. Anybody can be a victim of malware attack and the hacker most times is after your data, information or money.
The information stolen can either be sold as a ransom or sold in the dark world (this is where illegal content/information are bought and sold online).
I would discuss some of the various malware out there. They include:
1. Virus: Just like the biological virus, once penetrated into your system they multiply and spread across
the system causing havoc. They are usually disguised as a harmless file.
2. Trojan: What it does is to create loopholes in your security giving way for other malwares to come in.
They tend to hide themselves in genuine software.
3. Spyware: They are designed to spy on the user system. It hides in the background collecting the user
data such as password, credit card number; personal information about the user which is often used
to perpetrate evil to the user.
4. Worms: They are on the network, once it attaches itself to a user it spread across the network to
fellow users on the network.
5. Ransomware: It tends to look out for information that can be stolen from the user and then locks the
user out from his/her system until a ransom has been made to the hacker for the information to be
6. Adware: We see them as ads on the browser; even though they do not look harmful they give other malware a back door to access the user system.
HOW TO SAY NO TO MALWARE:
- Do not read strange e-mails, links or visit any website that is not secured: DO not open any strange mail such as: email@example.com.
Make sure to check who sent you an e-mail before you open it up. Every e-mail that is sent to you, such as the one in the link above may be opened ( which is a risky thing to do) but should be trashed immediately.
2. Do not download unsecured files: Do not just download anything you see from the internet, ensure the link is from a verified source.
3. Get an Ad blocker: One of the tools hackers use is to ensure they try to get your attention through the use of Ads. Let me just say at this point that not all ads are harmful but you need to be careful with what you are clicking and giving permission to on your system. I remember encountering an Adware; it took me close to 3 hours to understand the severity of the case. The adware created an application on the system that was never installed. I eventually removed it to secure the information that was contained on the user system.
An Ad blocker stops ads from appearing and there are amazing browsers that does a fantastic job at protecting you from such adware.
4. Be careful where you visit on the internet. There are so many malicious sites out there while some sites are just not secured.
5. Get an antivirus: To stay secured from any form of viruses that may be out there you need to get an antivirus. Operating systems out there now comes with an in-built security functionality, all you need to do is to update the operating system by so doing you can get more security patch from the manufacturer.
6. Update your application: Ensure you update the various applications you have. When manufacturers of an application notice a potential breech in security they release a security patch. One of the ways they do so is by sending out new updated version. So get rid of the old by updating it to the current version.
7. Scan before use: Do not just use an external device without scanning, ensure you scan it. That way you keep your system secured. Remember to say NO to malware in order to keep your data safe a