What is malicious software? Malicious software, or malware, is something you don’t want to encounter but often fall down with. It is a complex term that can make your head spin and your heart beat faster than usual. And we’re not talking about the ‘good’ adrenaline that rushes through your body whenever you explore your extreme self.
Enter the Stars Wars of Cyber Crime
Too many malicious programs out there, in the open cyberspace, are trying to get hold of your personal and financial information. And even the smartest of users can be tricked by a smartly crafted suspicious program, that’s how good malware coders have become.
However, we cannot always blame the bad guys for ruining our computers. Taking responsibility for our frivolous online activities and learning from our mistakes are two things we all must do. Fortunately, we can expose our bad online habits and have fun at the same time!
It’s time for some memeistic malware revelations!
Let’s expose the online behavioral patterns that best illustrate the distribution of malware across our own computers.
The nightmare slash malware infestation often begins with a simple click on a random download button or pop-up window, also known as adware.
Adware is usually bundled with potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that enter your PC because you never read the EULA or Download Agreement of the software you download.
Adware is a term frequently interchangeable with freeware. Both terms can turn out to be quite terminal to your machine…
Let’s not forget rogue AV products and fake tech support scams also known as scareware. They aim to scare the meme out of you and drive you to a) pay for a rogue product that will harm your PC; b) pick up the phone and call the ‘toll free’ number that may cost you your monthly pay.
Don’t be too complacent with yourself, if you haven’t participated in any of the scenarios described above. Meet social engineering (e.g. that cleverly written phishing email you better not open), or one of the smartest ways to toss malware across the Web.
Once the adware, freeware, scareware or PUP is in your system, outcomes (or malicious payloads) may vary, depending on your luck and quality of your AV program (if such is present on your PC).
We cannot mention ransomware and neglect Trojan horses. The two malware pieces often come together when you least expect them, and no firewall seems to be strong enough to chase them away.
And lastly, let’s be honest, when you’re experiencing issues with your PC and finally call your IT guy, what do you usually tell him?
Now, why don’t you scan your system to make sure it’s malware-free?