Malware – What is it and How You can Remove it
Malware is just what it sounds like; it is malicious software, thus the name. It strikes indiscriminately, affecting just about everyone who owns a computer. Malware is not only annoying, it’s also dangerous.
Malware is sometimes called spyware, badware, or simply a computer virus. Whatever term you choose to use, it’s all the same stuff. Malware is deceptive and harmful software that is installed onto your computer without your knowledge. Hackers have created a long list of different kinds of malware that they launch into cyber space on unsuspecting computer users.
What is Malware?
* Adware: Adware tracks everything you look at online and then sends it back to hackers who sell the information to advertising companies. These companies then have a virtual back door into your system which allows them to flood your computer with pop-up ads. Some of those pop-ups actually include more adware, so if you click “yes” or “okay” on certain pop-ups, you are actually agreeing to receive more ads.
* Keyloggers: Keyloggers are the worst kind of malware. This malware usually goes undetected by the everyday computer user because it doesn’t interfere with the operating system. Instead it is surreptitiously downloading onto your computer and it works silently behind the scenes to log every single key you press. Every password, bank account number, and email is then recorded and sent back to the hacker who planted the malware. This is one the growing trends in the practice of identity theft. Most victims don’t even realize them been had until something drastic occurs, like money missing from financial holdings.
* Spam: Some malware comes in the form of spam. Even legitimate-looking emails from supposedly trustworthy sources should be scrutinized. The clever hackers will sometimes disguise emails to appear to be from certain well-known sites, when they are really just hoping you’ll click on the link and download malware onto your computer.
How to Detect Malware
The sad truth is that most computer users will encounter malware at some point. Until a more comprehensive defense is developed, there are several key things you can do. First and foremost, think prevention. Always be careful when opening emails from unknown sources. While it may be harmless junk mail, it could also contain malware. Along the same lines, avoid clicking on pop-ups. If you get them, close them and move on.
You should also be aware that malware can come through free downloads and file-sharing websites. Useful downloadable tools can be infected with malware, so not only do you get the tool, you are also the lucky winner of malware.
How to Remove Malware
The other main way to eradicate and prevent malware is through antispyware software. These programs detect, clean-up, and prevent malware outbreaks. While most antispyware software doesn’t make any type of malware removal guarantee, others can get 100% of the malware off your computer.
Preventative Internet habits alongside anti-spyware software will help you wage war against malware. Don’t ever assume that you aren’t at risk. Be vigilant in protecting your computer and the personal information that is transferred through the system. It will save you some major headaches down the line.