Types of Malware that Threaten Your Computer DailyIt seems that malware creators never sleep! In 2017, there were 360,000 new malicious computer files detected every single day. And that’s a 14% increase over the prior year. (Info Security Magazine) While some hackers just create troublesome viruses to prove they can do it to other hackers, the main reason for the rise in malware attacks is money. Hackers use methods like holding your data hostage and demanding a ransom to a spyware script meant to steal sensitive information (like online banking logins).
30% of internet users worldwide paid to recover data after a malware incident.According to Statista, the financial costs of a malware attack were divided into these types of expenses:
- Cost of repairs (34%)
- Purchasing antivirus software (30%)
- Paying to recover data (30%)
- Buying a tool to clean computer (24%)
- Replacing damaged components (23%)
- Replacing damaged device (18%)
- Paid a ransom to decrypt files from ransomware (16%)
- Other (1%)
VirusesThe most well know is the typical computer virus. They are designed to modify a legitimate file on your system to allow the virus to be run along with it. They’re the only type that “infect” another file, which is why they’re difficult to eradicate.
RansomwareThis is one of the fastest growing types of malware because of the financial pay-off for cyber criminals. Ransomware has been used against hospitals, large companies, and municipalities. It is a script that encrypts the files on a system, or otherwise locks the users out, and the crook demands a ransom, usually in the thousands of dollars, to give access back to the files.
AdwareThis one has less of a system damage or financial loss risk because it’s meant to drive malicious advertising. It’s incredibly annoying because it can take over your browser searches to drive you to look-alike pages with product promotions.
SpywareOne of the more insidious types of malware is spyware because it can sit on your system quietly for years and you don’t even know it’s there. It’s not designed to start making your computer act weird or redirect your browser, instead it silently records every keystroke you make, working to get passwords and logins to your personal data.
TrojansThis type of malware is designed to trick you into downloading it onto your system by disguising itself as something else. You might visit a malicious site and see a pop-up that your computer is infected, and you need to download their cleaning software, but it’s really a trojan worm. Trojans are designed to get the user to purposely download and install them (kind of like inviting a Vampire into your home) so they can bypass other protections, like firewalls.
What Are the Most Popular Delivery Methods for Malware?Most types of malware utilize similar delivery methods for getting into your computer. The most popular is the phishing email, where you might receive an email from a seemingly legitimate source (like a shipping company or bank), and that even might use their logo on it. But it’s designed to trick you into downloading a malicious attachment or going to a dangerous website. Here are the top delivery methods for viruses and malware:
- Phishing emails with bogus attachments or links
- Downloading “software” from dangerous sources
- Online ads that download malicious scripts when you click them
- Social media surveys or fake messages
- Vulnerabilities in unpatched software
How Can You Protect Yourself?The best defense is a strong anti-malware program. As we mentioned earlier, Emsisoft is one that’s a favorite of ours because of its triple threat protection engineered to protect against multiple methods of intrusion. • Surf Protection: Protecting you from scripts on malicious websites • Behavior Blocker: Monitoring new threats by looking for strange system behaviors • Real Time File Guard: If a dangerous file is downloaded, it identifies and quantines it through a dual-engine scan
Is Your Computer and Network Properly Protected?In today’s connected world, every computer, tablet, and smartphone connected to your home Wi-Fi could be at risk if even one of them downloads a virus. Don’t leave your security to chance, contact Pro Tech Guy today for a security check to make sure you’ve got the best defense.
What Are the Main Ways to Back Up a Computer?There are lots more options for backing up your data than there used to be just 10-15 years ago. You can choose a local backup or a cloud-based one, and then have multiple sub-options in each group. But no matter which backup method you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re backing up your data regularly… or it could cost you.
The average cost of a lost data file is $148.In a study by the Ponemon Institute, they estimated the cost of a lost or stolen file that contains sensitive and confidential information to be an average of $148.00 per record. But many files are priceless if they can’t be replaced.
Main Backup Options for Computers & Devices:Local Backup Local backup means the storage of your backup files is done in the same place your computer resides. Here are the different methods of a local backup.
- External Hard Drive
- Portable External Hard Drive
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- DVD or USB Drive
- Google Drive
- Just Cloud
Ensure You’re Backing Up Correctly with Our 7 tipsOnce you’ve chosen the backup method of choice, you’ll want to make sure you’re following these 7 tips to ensure your backups are going smoothly at all times.
1. Backup the Right File FoldersWe’ve worked with customers who never double checked the files being included in their backup, only to be devastated later when they realized they left out an important folder. When you set your backup parameters, make sure you know which files are being included and which aren’t. It’s a good idea to just include everything if you can.
2. Automation is Your FriendLife gets busy and it’s easy to forget to do a backup if you are doing it manually. Save yourself the hassle by choosing a backup method that backs up everything automatically. Cloud backups typically offer this option and you can also set it up with a hard drive or SSD using a tool similar to Apple’s Time Machine.
3. Organize Before You BackupDo you tend to save your things everywhere on your computer and rely on “Recent Items” to find something you need? If so, it’s a good idea to organize your files into folders that make sense to you before you start your backup. This will help “future you” find files years later in case you need to recover your backup.
4. Use a Dual MethodOne backup’s great, two are even better! If you like the convenience and safety of a cloud backup, but also like having your files where you can grab them at a moment’s notice, back up using both methods and double your security.
5. Check In RegularlyWhen is the last time you looked at your automated backup to see how it was going? Have you reopened a backed up file to make sure the files are copying correctly? It’s easy to think all systems are “go” once you click “backup”, but things can go awry. Your backup can get stuck or run out of space. Be sure to check in on it regularly to make sure there are no problems.
6. Set Regular Backup IntervalsYou might think that backing up once a week is okay for your home computer. But what happens if you’ve been working on a client project from home for a few days and your computer crashes? That’s hours of work down the drain if you can’t recover what’s on your hard drive and don’t have a backup. Backing up daily or automatically whenever a file change occurs are the safest intervals.
7. Don’t Forget Your Tablet or SmartphoneWe are all doing more on our mobile devices and that’s the first place we typically capture treasured memories or download eBooks. Make sure any backup plan includes your mobile devices as well, so all your bases are covered.
Need Some Help with a Good Backup Plan? Call Pro Tech Guy!We’ve worked with every type of backup method out there and if you need some advice on your perfect backup tool, we’re here for you! Give us a call anytime at 508-364-8189 or
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