The world wide web can be an amazing place to browse, shop and play but make no mistake there are hackers out there lurking in the dark, just waiting for the right opportunity to strike. One false move is all it takes to end up with an infected computer that can result in data loss! In May of 2017 the Cybersecurity firm called Avast identified more than 75,000 ransomware attacks that targeted 99 different countries! A countless number of large companies, hospitals and even government offices were struck by an unstoppable wave of cyber attacks all over the world.  The ransomware, called “WannaCry,” effectively locked down all of the files on the infected computers and refused to relinquish control until a ransom was paid!

There are many different ways that your computer can become infected with a virus or with malware and spyware. There are also many ways in which you can prevent this from happening. In today’s blog were going to focus on the different ways your computer can become infected and what steps you can take now to prevent such an attack. Lets take a closer look at the different types of attacks and how to prevent each one.

Malware:

What is it? Malware is short for “malicious software” it is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. viruses, trojans and spyware are considered to be different types of malware. There are many different types of malicious software but not all are the same, they all behave very differently.

How do you get it? Malware often comes in the form of “drive-by” downloads. For instance if you run a search for something on Google, and end up on a website that is not legit, you may click on something thinking that you are downloading something good, but in turn you actually are downloading something very bad. Malware can also come in the form of emails that contain links to malicious websites or downloads as well.

10 warning signs that you have malware:

  1. Your computer is running slower than usual.
  2. You have lots and lots of pop-ups appearing out of no where.
  3. Your computer keeps crashing (aka blue screen of death)
  4. Suspicious hard-drive activity
  5. Running out of disc space
  6. Unusually high network activity
  7. New browser homepage, new toolbars, new websites accessed that you didn’t go to
  8. Strange programs that start automatically
  9. Security settings are all of a sudden disabled
  10. Your friends keep telling you that you are sending them emails that you are not sending

How do you Prevent it? We recommend the use of malware prevention software. With the vast number of programs out there it may be difficult to find the best one. We have done the research for you and found the best malware removal and protection software out there for 2017 to help you maintain your computers good health and protect your computer  from unwanted malware. At the end of this blog post you will find our list of the best malware prevention software programs out there today.

Spyware:

What is it? Another type of malware is Spyware which is installed onto a computer without the knowledge of the owner which then collects the private information of that owner.

Spyware is often hidden from the user  in the background, no annoying pop ups, hard to detect and works quietly in background collecting information such as passwords and other valuable information without the knowledge of the user!

How do you get it? Most often spyware is installed through a software download just like the above example. Typically packaged up with what seems like legitimate software, once you download that software, the spyware is installed and ready to take action.

Warning signs that you have spyware:

  1. New items appear on your favorites list
  2. Searching for something on Google brings unexpected results
  3. New browser homepage, new toolbars, new websites accessed that you didn’t go to
  4. High network activity when you are not active online
  5. Your computer is running slower than usual
  6. Your antispyware program or another protective program stops working
  7. You have lots and lots of pop-ups appearing out of no where
  8. believe or not, a big tell tale sign is no sign at all, spyware often times disguises itself as nothing at all, even though its there

How do you Prevent it? We recommend the use of malware prevention software. It’s better to be safe than sorry, you should have malware prevention software and anti-virus software running on your computer at all times and make sure that you keep them up to date as well.

The best of the best:

The best antivirus software

The best anti-malware software

Here at Hamilton Computer Repairs we specialize in malware, spyware and virus removal and prevention. If you suspect that your computer may already be infected, give us a call today!