You probably heard of a malware attack before but never knew how to recognize it. Stay with us, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know about these dangerous cyber-attacks!
Have you noticed lately that your computer started to move slower, a series of irritating ads suddenly appear in your browser, or that you no longer have any storage space?
You probably guessed by now, and yes, those are the most common red flags when dealing with a malware attack!
How can we define a malware attack?
For a much better understanding, malware is a short form of malicious software, a computer program designed to damage your device or computer system. You may wonder then, “Who would want to do this and why?”
If in the past teenage pranksters were writing computer viruses for fun, now things have changed, and we talk about professional criminals.
Cybercriminals use these attacks to steal personal information from you, such as your banking account information or login credentials.
They can also spy on your online activities once “they’re in,” and they may do some malicious activities. These criminals often design the malware to look like a legitimate file or software to trick you into downloading software, or click a link or open an attachment.
How can you prevent dealing with a cyberattack?
If you want to protect yourself or, more importantly, your company, you need to be aware of the danger that comes with a malware attack. After realizing how it can damage your business, you need to educate and train your employees to recognize these cyberattacks.
Let’s learn together how to prevent and protect against malware attacks.
1. Install a trustworthy antivirus
- It is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from malware attacks
- It offers extra security, especially when downloading suspicious files
- You should try to use antivirus apps that are a bit more expensive than the ones that claim to be free because they have a higher success rate (e.g., Kaspersky, Avast, AVG, Norton, and so on)
- After installing your antivirus software, make sure it is regularly updated so you can be sure the attackers cannot gain access to your computer if you have vulnerabilities.
- As for protecting your business, you need to understand that one antivirus program is not enough, and that’s why you should invest in more security software.
2. Be aware of suspicious attachments
- Try to avoid opening attachments that look suspicious to you.
- The easiest way you can “catch” a virus is by phishing.
3. Practice safe browsing
- Set a strong password or use password managers
- Once you’ve done your job on a website, DON’T FORGET TO LOG OUT! (even if you’re using a strong password, attackers can still access your login credentials from session cookies)
4. Watch out for indicators of compromise (IOCs)
Indicators of compromise represent signs and clues that attackers may have infected your device with malware. Keep an eye out for IOCs like:
- Unexpected computer behavior: If you look at your webcam, you may realize the light next to it is open, although you did not activate your camera.
- Security alerts: Some companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Microsoft send you warnings if your account is believed to be targeted by attackers.
5. Be aware of what you download
In the digital world, we download a lot of things, from apps to photos, documents, or even computer games. If you’re not careful enough when downloading, you can make yourself vulnerable to cybercriminals. Be sure to always download from trusted sources. Otherwise, downloading files over the internet can be the fastest way to become a victim of malware attacks. Next time, make sure you pay more attention to what you’re installing on your computer!
6. Configure regular scans
To make sure your security software is doing its job, a good idea would also be to set up automatic scans to run every few days or week, depending on you.
7. Back-up data regularly
Make sure you back up your data daily to an external drive; This way, you can still access all your valuable information and files in case of a malware attack. It is one of the best and efficient protection for you and your company.
8. Install a Firewall
A firewall, we can say, is in the security category as your antivirus software. It’s a must-have piece in your security arsenal! It’s working as a barrier between a private internal network and the public Internet. By installing a firewall, unauthorized access to private information on your computer will be automatically blocked.
9. Secure your network
Having network security is vital, especially when it comes to protecting client information. A secure network reduces expenses and losses that occur from a possible data breach or security vulnerability. Next time you’re using a wi-fi network, make sure to use a VPN (a virtual private network) with strong encryption.
10. Always educate yourself and your employees
It is proved that most data attacks happened due to an employee not being able to identify a malware attack. And that it’s why you should regularly train your employees to recognize any types of cyberattacks to protect your business and its data.
By the end of this article, you have learned how not to be a victim of malware attacks! So make sure you stay safe and aware that security online is vital for you and your business!