In the last post, we looked at how cybercriminals can trick us into accessing unsafe websites and sharing personal details. In this post, we’ll look at how we can protect ourselves from malware.
Malware is any sort of file that is harmful to your computer. For example, it might be
a self-replicating ‘virus’
‘spyware’ that can gather information from your computer and send it to a third party or
‘ransomware’ which essentially locks your computer and doesn’t allow you to do anything or access any files until you pay the ransom.
Viruses can usually be cleaned up. In the case of ransomware, there’s often nothing that can be done other than restore an earlier back-up of your files if they aren’t infected or re-build the computer from scratch ... so prevention is definitely better than cure! (See our next post for more information on back-ups.)
What can you do?
Think before you click
Be careful about the websites you visit, the files you download and the email attachments you open.
Look for https and the padlock sign 🔒 if you are shopping, banking or otherwise providing personal information
Use well known companies and ensure you’ve typed the address correctly (in the same way as apps with similar names, cybercriminals buy websites with variations of common typos)
Take a few moments to consider if an email attachments is firstly, expected and secondly from a trusted source
Always have a quality anti-virus / malware protection programme installed
How can we help?
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for – a free anti-virus package could be seen as better than nothing but it is unlikely to have all the latest data to provide full protection. We can recommend an anti-malware package that is suitable for your needs and budget.