What is malware? How to defend your system from malware?

Malware (abbr. malicious software) is generally accepted term to denote any software specially implemented to make a damage to some computer, server or computer network. Malware represent the wide class of software. They are installed into your system without your permission and influence operation of your computer.

According to the way of distribution we distinguish the following types of malware: exploits, logical bombs, Trojans and spyware, computer viruses and network worms. The most popular malware are Trojans, worms and viruses.

Trojan is a malware that serves the attacker to collect, destroy or modify the information, leads to computer malfunction or exploration of its resources with evil intent.

Computer virus is a type of software with the feature of self-replication. Besides, it is able to damage or completely delete the data controlled by the user from whose profile the infected software was launched.

Network worm is a type of self-replication computer software propagated within local and global computer networks. Unlike viruses, worm is independent software. Trackware is new variation of malware, which track and register operations performed on computer.

How the malware penetrates into user’s computer?

Malware often penetrates into the computer via Internet or email. In case you make misprint in URL-address or accidentally follow the unknown link, you can get into the dangerous website with «aggressive» content or malware. P2P (peer-to-peer) networks where users might transfer the files directly from one computer to another, represent the significant risk of infection by malware or adware.

How malware influence the computer performance?

The popup windows, the degradation of system’s performance as well as redirection the browser requests to unwanted websites indicate that your computer infected. The malware influence the normal operation of system and probably might be the reason of denial of service, data replace and degradation of network bandwidth. Besides, computer powering-off or rebooting became impossible.

How to defend your computer from malware?

Frequently the malware distributed together with other files, so avoid opening the email attachments originated from unknown sources. Never receive files from strangers, and be careful when open files with AVI, EXE or JPG extensions.

If you suspect, that your computer infected by malware:

· Stop any activity related to use of logins, passwords and other confidential information.

· Use antivirus to secure your system from possible online threats. Install antivirus and anti-spy software from trusted sources.

· Make sure that your antivirus updated, and it scans the computer and removes any software that detected as malware. Frequently, in a rush you can carelessly read popup message containing wrong information about completion of computer check and detecting malicious programs. Such message, as a rule, contains offer to install fake software widely used to propagate malware.

· Never download anything in respond to the notification of the not installed by you unknown program, offering defend your computer from viruses. At that, the probability of infection is very high.

Update your software regularly.

Cybercriminals are very inventive in their attempts to exploit software vulnerabilities. Hence, it is important to:

· Regularly make update of all your software – antivirus and anti-spy software, operating systems, text processors and other programs.

· Enable the features of automatic software update.

· Uninstall the software that you do not use.

Use reliable passwords and store them in secret.

· The reliable passwords should contain at least 14 symbols and combination of letters, digitals and other symbols.

· Do not disclose your passwords to anyone.

· Do not use the same password to all websites. In case of its theft, all information will be under the risk.

· Create distinct reliable passwords for routers and keys for wireless network at home. In order to know how to make it you should ask the company that provides the router.

Never disable firewall.

Firewall creates the defensive barrier between your computer and Internet. The disabling firewall even for 1 minute increase the risk of computer infection.

Carefully use USB drivers.

Minimize the possibility of infections:

· Do not plug-in unknown USB-drivers to your computer.

· Press SHIFT button when plug-in the USB-driver into your computer. In case you forget to make this, press X in a right top corner to close all popup windows of USB-driver.

· Do not open unknown files from the USB-driver.

Do not approve downloads suggested by malware.

· Be extremely careful when opening enclosed files or pressing the links within emails, instant messages as well as publications within social media – even in case if you don’t know the sender. If the message from the friend call him and clarify, whether he send the message or not; if not, remove the letter and close the instant messages exchange service window.

· Do not press «Agree», «ОК», or «I accept» buttons within banner ads, sudden popup windows or notifications, website that seems legitimate or offerings to remove spyware or viruses.

· Press combination CTRL + F4 on keyboard.

· If the window remains open, press combination Alt + F4 on keyboard to close browser. If necessary, close all tabs without restoring them at the next web-browser session.

· Download the software only from reliable sources.

· Do not follow the links within emails and avoid websites where free software – especially free antivirus – are offered. Avoid «free» downloads of music, games, video etc., that might contain malware within load file.