What is Malware?
What is Malware and more importantly how can you stop it?
Simply put the word Malware is a combination of the words MALicious and softWARE, which is exactly what it is. It is a generic term that refers to any program written specifically to cause harm or damage to a computer, PC or network without the knowledge of the owner or user.
Malware is everything you wouldn't want on a computer. It can do anything from collecting personal information to crashing systems and networks. The term Malware encompasses spyware and adware programs that plant tracking cookies to monitor surfing and buying habits. Forms of malware can also install themselves through other applications, as well as hijack web browsers, slow down computers, display unwanted advertising, corrupt data and so on. The result, there are now a lot of people asking, what is malware?
Malware is a growing problem that threatens not just laptop security, but the security of all PC's, networks and enterprise-level servers. Malware attacks are an everyday occurrence and there is a clear trend towards increasing scale of offensive, with tens of thousands or millions of people affected either directly or indirectly.
In the case of an attack on Monster.com, personal data on 1.6 million job applicants was harvested that included user names, e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers. The stolen data was then uploaded to a remote web serve where it's probable that it will be used to drive phishing and spam e-mails campaigns. Presumably, many of the affected people will now be asking the question, what is malware?
Forms of Malware can change dial-up or network connection settings and then transmit personal or confidential data to parties unknown on remote servers. One type of Malware called a keylogger can install programs that monitor and record a PC users every key stroke. They pose a serious threat to privacy and laptop security. There are other variants that can monitor e-mail, build a chat log based on a users IMing, capture account numbers, user names, passwords, Social Security numbers and generally piece together an identity profile that can be exploited for fraudulent purposes. That type of information is also commonly sold onto third parties specializing in identity theft and cyber-crime.
For further information, see: The Hackers Nightmare: The Bible Of Computer & Internet Security.
As a consequence of the growing flood of malware on the net it is vital that every internet connected PC has several robust layers of defense in place. These may include an anti-virus program, a software firewall and possibly free spyware removal tools.
The Top 5
Better still a commercial spyware scanner. The most effective defenses are provided by comprehensive internet security suites that protect against all forms of malware including viruses. These integrated suites are updated constantly by the publishers to counter the many thousands of new threats that emerge daily.
An important first step towards an adequate defense is to understand the answer to the question: what is malware?
Now, that you know what it is, take action to combat it on your laptop or PC. A little time spent understanding the options will reduce hassles at a later date. The least of these hassles is likely to be the time wasted on virus repair.
Surf The Internet At Work?
Windows and other software programs store history about the different activities that you have performed on your computer and on the Internet. This information is stored in the system areas of your hard disk and the built-in Windows functions like 'Clear History' offer little protection as they can only partially delete this data. Anyone can take a look at your history and find out what you have been doing on your computer, and this raises serious privacy concerns.
Save your privacy now with this...
Spyware and Adware is software made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, invade your privacy, and flood you with those horrible popups. If you are like most users on the internet, chances are you are probably infected with these applications. That is why we have designed our revolutionary product.
The SecSoftware Team is dedicated to the production and development of highly reliable and trusted Security Software Programs.
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