Virus & Malware Protection: The Fundamentals

Just as you can pick up a virus or infection from being out in the world, your machines and systems can acquire a virus or malware infection through exposure to the internet. Fortunately, the basics of protection in both cases are similar.

What is Malware?

Malware is short for Malicious Software. Malware is a broad category that encompasses various types of malicious software that include:

  • Viruses – A type of malware that attaches itself to programs and files and attempts to spread through a computer system.
  • Worms – A type of malware that replicates and spreads through a computer system without the need for a host file.
  • Trojans – A type of malware that presents as legitimate software but performs malicious actions when executed.
  • Ransomware – A type of malware that encrypts a user’s files and demands a ransom for decryption.
  • Spyware – A type of malware that secretly gathers information about a user’s activities and sends it to a remote server.
  • Adware – A type of malware that displays unwanted advertisements and may collect user information.

How can organizations protect themselves from Malware?

To protect your organization’s systems and data from viruses and malware, it’s important to do the following:

  1.  Use anti-virus and anti-malware software.
  2.  Keep your operating system and software up to date.
  3.  Exercise caution when downloading files or clicking on links.
  4.  Regularly back up important data.
  5.  Avoid opening suspicious attachments and visiting suspicious websites.

Viruses and malware are present everywhere on the internet, but exercising some caution when interacting with files, links, and attachments and keeping your systems up to date can give them fewer opportunities to infect your systems.

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