Before we come to what can malware do to your computer or how to recognize if there is a malware in your system, let us first see what a malware is.
Malware is made up of two words ‘mal’ meaning bad or unpleasant and ‘ware’ meaning a software of a particular type. So malware is nothing but software designed with an intention to cause harm to a computer system.
Malware can disrupt the normal functioning of a computer system, can give unauthorized access to hackers and let them spy. The malware software pretends to be any other type of software while at the background they accomplish their malicious task. What is most devastating about malware is that it spreads through a network and can harm all the computers in that network.
Types of malware:
It is essentially a software that is able to replicate itself which means it is self-replicating. A virus cannot be detected in your computer system unless an antivirus scans it. The file containing the virus must be run by the user in order to do its task.
A worm is a kind of software that replicates itself and destroys any file or data that comes its way without setting a proper target. They enter in your computer via mail and instant messages.
A Trojan horse is a software that seems to be a useful one, but actually, it is a malware. They represent themselves as usual routine software and persuade the user to install it on their system.
A rootkit is a gateway to the various kind of malware. Detecting a rootkit as well as removing it is complicated and nearly impossible as it misguided the software that is detecting it.
It is one of the most harmful malware as it threatens the user to delete or publish his data unless a ransom is paid while the user’s access to the data is blocked. However, one cannot be sure of the fact that the data will be once again under his control even if the ransom is paid.
It is a software that records and stores all the information that is entered via the keyboard. Though it cannot record information via virtual keyboard or other input devices, it sends the recorded information to the hacker which can be a password or any private detail.
Grayware is a term collectively used for all the undesired and unused applications on a computer system.
Now that what malware is and how can it cause harm to your computer system is clear, it becomes extremely important to protect the operating system from malware and its various software.
From each key pressed on your keyboard to every small detail stored on the system can be hacked and you can lose control on all the useful information and data in a second. You can take actions against something only if you have proper and sound knowledge about the genre.
Here is detailed information about how can you detect malware and keep it at bay.
The thumb rule to avoid malware corrupting your data is to prevent it from ever being installed.
Other pointers are:
Keep a check at your emails.
- Do not ever hesitate to double check your emails even if you know the username and the sender.
- Do not ever click on a link attached with an email. Always copy the link and open in a separate browser.
- Also, pay attention to other files attached to the email.
Keep a check at the popups.
- Consider using a pop-up blocker if possible.
- Pay attention to the links attached to the pop-ups.
- Never pay attention to the advertisements attached to the pop-ups and do not buy them.
Few tips that your computer may have malware
- Always pay attention to recent unusual behavior in your computer systems.
- Be suspicious of an increase in the number of pop-up advertisements appearing your computer systems.
- New toolbars or icons that you doubt not installing yourself.
- Cross check when your system takes you to different websites and pages without your instructions.
The above-mentioned pointers will definitely help you identify if there is a malware taking shelter at your computer system.
What if you are not able to identify the malware and unfortunately it enters in your system.
Here comes a step by step guide to your rescue.
Step 1: Disconnect from the internet: Disconnecting from the internet will make sure no updated information is being sent to the hacker. Reconnect only if you believe the malware has been removed.
Step 2: Safe mode: Restart your computer in safe mode to enable only the necessary files to load.
Step 3: Logging in: Avoid logging in different accounts while the process of malware removal is in continuation. This will ensure that you do not share your account information with anyone.
Step 4: Keep a check: Look for applications or files that may have taken malicious actions.
Step 5: Run a malware scanner: Download a malware scanner from a reliable source. The malware scanner should be different from your downloaded antivirus software as it could not detect the malware initially.
Step 6: Fix your web browser: A malware can also affect your web browser and web page so ensure fixing it to remove even the slightest bits of malware residing in your system.
Step 7: Clear your cache: After performing the above-mentioned steps make sure to clear the cache of your web browser as some information may also be stored in the cache.
These were the few steps that could help you remove malware programme from your step if they have accidentally crept in. All you have to do is check and pay attention to every small behavioral change as ignorance for a short period of time may come with huge loss and expense. Follow the guide to a T and ensure a malware free system.