If you’ve watched the news in the past 12 months you may have heard stories about how hackers have used phishing emails and malware to gain access to computer servers.
Ultimately, the concept of malware is a lot less complex than you may think. Malware (aka, malicious software) is something that’s written with the intent of harming people, data and/or their devices.
It comes in many shapes and sizes: malware can refer to computer viruses, spyware and Trojans.
So what exactly does malware do?
- If your computer is infected with a virus, the virus may delete or corrupt files. Computer viruses, much like bacterial viruses, can spread uncontrollably. Viruses are usually installed through an executable file. If you get an email from an unknown source and the sender is urging you to open a .zip file, that file could contain a virus.
- If your computer is infected with spyware, the spyware will, in fact, spy on you Spyware is generally used to get people’s usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. It can also track your web surfing habits.
- Have you ever been using your computer and all of a sudden, you’ve found yourself bombarded with six million pop-up ads? Well, this would have been due to adware. Adware isn’t generally malicious but it’s pretty annoying.
- Ransomware pretty much does what it sounds like it would do. If it infects a system, it can lock down the computer and threaten to wipe everything from the hard drive—that is, of course, unless a ransom is paid. Ransomware tends to target companies and corporations as opposed to private users.
- Trojans are a type of malware that pretends to be something it’s not. In most cases, it will disguise itself as legitimate software. Once it’s installed, it can create backdoors in your system that will make it easier for other types of malware to get in.
Removing malware can be tricky
Since each type of malware behaves a little bit differently from the next, each one will require a different removal method. Yet the best protection from malware is to make sure you don’t get infected to begin with.
This means not opening suspicious emails (like the one from your bank that says you need to click on a link RIGHT AWAY to reset your password) and avoiding suspicious websites. You should also make sure you have working antivirus software installed on your PC.
If you think you have a malware problem, call Rocky Mountain Computer Specialists today
At Rocky Mountain Computer Specialists our team of highly-trained computer geeks has been helping clients in and around Denver with all of their computer needs for more than 25 years.
If you suspect your computer or network may have been affected by malware, call us right away. We can help evaluate your system, determine which types of malware you’ve been infected with and we will then work to help you remove it.
We can even help you install antivirus software if needed.