There are many cybercriminals out there using malicious software to try to take advantage of your company. Basic education on malicious software is key to protecting your company data from being stolen or wiped clean.
What Is Malicious Software?
Let's start with the essentials. Malicious software, also known as malware, is any software that tries to exploit you or bring you harm. Malware comes in many forms, such as viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and keyloggers. Each form of malware is malicious in its own way.
Malware can wreak havoc on your company, so taking preventative measures is important. Not taking preventative measures can have serious consequences. Malware has the potential to take your business offline, breach your user data, and even solicit company money in the case of ransomware.
How Did I Get Malware on My Computer?
Whether you remember it or not, in most cases you accidentally downloaded the malware file. Cybercriminals are very skilled at tricking online users to download malware files.
Malicious software can often be found from internet pop-ups that try to look appealing and urgent to a user. Interacting within the pop-up will usually trigger a file download request. If downloaded, this malware file will begin to run on its own.
Aside from the internet, email attachments are another possible entry point for malware. This is one reason why phishing email education can be a valuable investment for your company.
Tips to Protect Company Data From Malware
There are many tips to consider when it comes to protecting your company from malware.
- Backup your data. This is important to recover from situations when malware deletes your data.
- Frequently update your operating system. These updates generally includes updates to security.
- Always be cautious of strange emails—don’t click on the links or download the attachments. If you’re unsure of an email, reach out to the sender in person.
- Be mindful of what you are clicking on when browsing the internet. Do a quick google search and verify the legitimacy of a website address before clicking anywhere on websites that don’t seem right.
- Social media scams can also contain malware. If it looks like you’re being scammed on social media by a friend or loved one, do not click on any links. Inform the account owner in person that their account has been compromised.
- Delete spam from your email inbox
- Install Antivirus software on your computer systems.