Malware is the name for a number of malicious software variants, including viruses, ransomware and trojans. It is essentially a software program that cyber attackers design to cause extensive damage to data and systems or to gain unauthorized access to a network. There are many different types of malware but what you need to know is they are all bad.
How do you get infected with malware?
Malware is typically delivered in the form of a link in an email or file attached to an email. The cyber attacker is relying on you clicking on that link or downloading and opening the attachment. If you’re unsure if an email is safe, ask your IT or Security team at your organization!
What are the effects of malware?
Malware delivers its payload in a number of different ways, but essentially the results can be anywhere from you “need a new pc” to “ok everyone go home and don’t come back until next week while we restore and repair all of our systems.”
How can you protect yourself from malware?
Stay vigilant. Pay particular attention if you see a domain name that ends in an odd set of letters, such as .xyz, as they can be an indicator for risky websites
Avoid clicking on pop-up ads while browsing the Internet. Stay away from opening unsolicited email attachments or downloading software from untrustworthy websites
Do not click on strange, unverified links in emails or texts messages of unknown origin. Strange links from friends and contacts should be avoided too unless you have verified it to be safe