Malware is malicious software. Malware comes in many forms that include Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses.
- A Virus is a piece of computer code that attaches itself to a program or file so it can spread. Viruses can damage your software, hardware and files.
- A Worm is a type of virus that is designed to copy itself from one computer to another. Unlike a regular virus, worms don’t need to travel via a “host” program.
- A Trojan Horse is a type of virus that is a computer program that appears to be useful but actually does damage. Victims are lured into willingly opening them.
Here are a few tips on identifying and removing Malware as well as safeguarding against it.
Malware symptoms include:
- Computer runs consistently slower than normal
- Computer stops responding or locks up often
- Computer hangs and restarts every few minutes
- Computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
- Computer applications do not work properly
- Computer disks or disk drives are inaccessible
- Printing does not work correctly
- Computer continuously displays unusual error messages
Safeguards against Malware:
- Install Antivirus software and scan your system weekly (for Windows 10 PCs we like the built in Windows Defender)
- Never open e-mail attachments from strangers
- Never open e-mail attachments from someone you know unless you are expecting them or know exactly what the attachments are
- Be very suspicious of file attachments with extensions commonly used to spread viruses such as “.com”, “.vbs”, “.bat”, “.exe”, “.pif” and “.scr”
- Do not trust displayed file names
- Read suspicious e-mail messages in plain context
- Install operating system security updates
- Backup your system regularly