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  Almost everybody in this modern world now has at least a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop/Mac. Now, one sure thing with these electronic gadgets is the input and output of data in them. From simply collecting an MP3 audio file from a friend to opening email attachments or inserting USB drives, computer gadgets can become a den of malware.
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Malware is all malicious content installed on a computer and programmed to exhibit a specific set of behaviour unknown to the gadget owner. A malware is contracted on a device when a user clicks on a link, downloads a malicious email attachment or opens a rogue software program. Malware consists of various kinds of worms, viruses, trojan horses, ransomware, botnet, adware, spyware and so on. Once installed, hackers can use the malware to spy on your online activities, steal confidential and financial information or use your device to hack other industrial systems. However, a few tips for preventing malware attacks and infections are highlighted below:
  1. Install An Antivirus

The commonest means of preventing malware is to install antivirus software on your device. Antivirus software will intermittently scan your computer device to detect and remove any Malware on your device while providing automatic updates for enhanced protection from newly created viruses. Kaspersky, McAfee and other antivirus software might prove effective against viruses. Note that some antivirus software are even known sources of virus infections; therefore, it is highly recommended to research the latest news about a particular antivirus software before installing it on your phone or PC. However, for Windows 10 users, an inbuilt free antivirus software called Windows Defender does a great job of fending off viral threats.
  1. Buy/Download Apps Only From Trusted Sources

Whether you are buying things online or not, absolute care must be taken to ensure you visit trustworthy websites or install/receive files from only trusted external devices/gadgets. Other app hosts may be malicious by hiding malware in that beautiful app/software you intend to download/install. Therefore, if you are not downloading apps on your smartphone directly from Google Play or Apple app store, then you may be needlessly exposing yourself to a malware attack or infection from other unverified app hosts.
  1. Avoid Downloading Unknown Email Attachments

It is better to doubly verify the source of attachments in your email and any URL links sent to you before proceeding to engage from any of your devices.
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This type of malware known as phishing is the number one cause of all cyber-attacks. It is also one of the easiest ways for hackers to steal data from any device as it delivers malware. Phishing attacks work by tricking people into opening email attachments or clicking on a link that appears to originate from a reputable source. Oftentimes, such links take you to a website that immediately infects your computer with malware. MetaPhish is one of such powerful defences against phishing threats as it enables organisations to know just how susceptible their company is to phishing.
  1. Install A Firewall

One more effective way to protect your device against malware is by installing a firewall. Firewalls are useful in that they prevent malicious attacks at the network layer by blocking all unauthorised access to or from a private computer network. When firewalls are installed on your device, it forms additional protection in conjunction with the antivirus software by shutting suspicious traffic on your bandwidth. Generally, firewalls reduce the chance of malware attacks.

Bottom line

Despite all care and precautions taken against Malware attacks, one rule of thumb is to always back up your data in the cloud as a risk management approach – in case you are not able to recover infected files after an attack. It is always best to have this Plan B data security so that you can be able to retrieve all your valuable data and files if your computer is infected. Featured Image Source: Standard Office Systems
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This article was first published on 19th May 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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