Who is affected by malware and how its infected?

Victims of malicious programs include both individuals and companies or organizations. The list above shows the differences between them, which are as varied as the reasons for their use, and that is that they are not usually the expression of arbitrary digital vandalism. It is much more common for the use of malware to be determined by one objective: to spy on and take advantage of data, to place advertisements and purchase offers, to sabotage certain computer systems or to control third-party computers and use them for specific purposes. The malware thus tries to go unnoticed in order to use the invaded computer as long as possible. However, there are certain symptoms that can be identified to find out if a computer has been the victim of malicious software:

The computer turns off spontaneously, cannot be turned on again, or the system suddenly crashes. The computer runs slower than normal (due to an increase in processor load). The Internet speed is slower than usual (due to high data traffic).

Increase the frequency with which unwanted Internet content appears, such as pop-ups, automatic forwarding to certain Internet addresses or sudden access to a new web page, search engine or new toolbars in the browser.

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Programs are suddenly uninstalled or blocked. Some harmful elements can even disable antivirus programs and firewalls, which is another indication that the system has been infected with malware.

Unwanted programs are installed and some open on their own

It is evident that someone is intervening in the computer, due, for example, to the presence of new files or folders, to the fact that the mouse pointer is being controlled, to the sending of emails or messages on social networks on your behalf without that there is no intervention on your part.

Preventive measures against malicious software

There are various types of software designed to protect computer systems from external threats, but all responsibility does not lie with them, but your handling of the situation also plays an important role. This refers, on the one hand, to preventive measures based on software and, on the other hand, to guidelines on the use of the Internet.

Software-based prevention

In order for your system to be safe from badware, it is recommended to equip the team with the following software:

A current and effective antivirus program: an antivirus is a program that runs permanently and protects the computer from the threats of malicious software. In order for it to recognize as many malicious programs as possible, it should always be the order of the day through automatic updates. Windows operating systems come standard with an antivirus, which can be Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Vista, Windows 7) or Windows Defender (from Windows 8). Among the most effective and, at the same time, free antivirus programs are Avast, Avira, Malwarebytes and 360 Total Security. These programs are available for both Windows and Mac or Android operating systems. Another of the best known and also free antivirus for Windows is Panda Free Antivirus.

These types of programs protect systems from the presence of viruses and can eliminate almost any of them regardless of their nature, or at least offer advice on how to proceed correctly. This also applies to computer worms, Trojans, and other types of malicious software, so antivirus programs not only protect against computer viruses, but also against other types of malicious programs and also help to remove malware.

An active firewall: You can only protect your computer from unwanted access when the firewall is active, and this is an essential component of many operating systems, including Windows.

A current version of the operating system: Updates help eliminate the security loopholes caused by the presence of malware on your computer. The best practice is to keep the operating system up to date, for example, by activating automatic updates.  

Current versions of the programs: it is also recommended to update the software that is used, especially the one that makes it possible to connect to the Internet. Outdated versions of browsers, Java, Flash, and other applications often contain security flaws and allow badware to access the system.

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