Adware, spyware, viruses, scareware, ransomeware, Trojans, worms, rootkits and backdoors are all types of ‘malware’; this is short for malicious software. The intention of malicious software is to disrupt a computer system or more commonly financially motivated.
How do you get viruses?
Viruses can appear on your computer via multiple infection routes:
- Opening infected email attachments which are most commonly in .exe, .pdf and .zip files.
- Opening infected files from websites, frequently malicious content is bundled into “free” software such as music games and films as this makes it much easier to distribute.
- Visiting compromised websites. A legitimate site may have vulnerabilities which attackers can take advantage and upload malicious code to it without the website owner’s knowledge.
- Via instant messaging applications such as Skype, Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger.
- USB connected devices (e.g. memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players), worms are self-replicating which means they can spread to connected storage and network devices.
What are the consequences of viruses?
Viruses can cause the following affects (not all are exclusive symptoms of an infection):
- Slow down of the computer or making it completely unusable;
- Pop ups or targeted adverts;
- Redirection to websites;
- Unable to access certain websites (often viruses can block access to antivirus websites to avoid detection and removal);
- Fraudulent transactions for bank/credit cards;
- Deleting, hiding, corruption or stealing of data;
- Encryption of data (this is called ransomeware whereby data is encrypted then the password is released by the attacker for a fee);
- Alteration of desktop wallpaper without your consent;
- Alteration of Internet home page without your consent;
- Sending emails or instant messages without your knowledge.
- Disabling of firewall and antivirus applications.
- Download of further malware.
What you can do to beat the viruses
At Crawley Computer Centre we offer Health Check services to ensure your computer is malware free and running at its optimum. This service is also suitable for those that already have a virus infection on their computer which requires removal. If you are a website owner that has a compromised site we can also help.
We are the official stockists for Bullguard which is suitable for desktops and laptops.
Ask in store for our special offer on Bullguard
Image source: Geek on Wheels