Malware, virus, spyware
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Malware, Viruses, and Trojans

What do Malware, Trojans, Viruses Actually Do?

Malware, virus, spyware

In short, they are all computer exploits that can be used by criminals to steal information, money, or cause malicious problems.  But let’s start by explaining what each one actually is and then describe how they work.

Malware

Basically malware is software that was designed with the intent of operating a computer system without the consent of the user.  There many different kinds of malicious software or “Malware” like spyware, or ransomware.  Each performs different function spyware does what it sounds like by spying on the user’s actions on a compromised computer.  Where ransomware takes your computers hostage and locks your data demanding a ransom to regain access to the data and the computers.  In addition to criminals, foreign governments have been known to use some kind of malware attacks to gain control over systems.  There have been quite a few attacks that have made the headlines of the mainstream media in the past few years.   Many of which we caused by malware compromising a computer system giving criminals the access they need to cause all sorts of problems.

How do you protect against Malware?

  • Anti-Malware software use it
  • Anti-virus software use it in conjunction with anti-malware software
  • Use Common sense, be vigilant of suspicious emails.  Since email is one of the most common ways malware is spread
  • Be certain of what your downloading.  Even legitimate websites can be infected with malware.

Viruses

The virus is just like it sounds if a person gets a virus it’s an infection.  Computer viruses are the same they infect files such as emails, music, websites with files that carry the virus.  You can get a virus even if you are very careful you can get a virus when doing a simple web search from an infected website.

But what does the virus do?  Like the flu virus it spreads, by making copies of itself infecting other files, emails, devices on your network and continues the cycle of infection and replication.

Some viruses are problematic by slowing down your computer, while others are designed to damage your computer.

What are some symptoms of a computer virus?

  • The computer becomes very slow or exhibits bad performance
  • Odd computer behavior
  • Data loss
  • Computer crashes

How do you protect from viruses?

  • Delete spam messages immediately
  • Use antivirus protection software
  • Avoid free software
  • Use a firewall
  • Use anti-malware software
  • Keep all antivirus protection and anti-spyware software up-to-date
  • Regularly update your operating system
  • When possible increase your browser security
  • Try to avoid sketchy or questionable websites
  • Only download software that is trustworthy
  • Don’t open messages or odd attachments from strangers

Trojans – or Trojan Horses

Like the store of the original Trojan Horse.  Trojans are back-doors into a computer system.   While appearing to be ordinary software that is helpful or unimportant when in fact Trojans provide backdoor access to the computer that has been infected. Unlike viruses, Trojans do not self-replicate or infect other files.

It pays to be prepared

Remember unprotected computers are like an open door to online scammers, and criminals.  They look for these easy targets and will exploit them.

Firewalls, Anti-malware, Anti-Virus software, and caution are important components for protecting your computers and network from unwanted viruses and other issues cause by these cyber exploits.

What Can Slick Cyber Systems Do?

Slick Cyber Systems is a computer repair, networking, computer and software sales, technology infrastructure, cloud services, company that provides computer-related goods and services for business.  We can be found online at www.slickcybersystems.com or call (570) 371-5800.