Malware is a type of malicious software that can cause all sorts of problems for businesses and consumers alike. It comes in many different forms, including viruses, spyware, worms, and Trojan horses. In 2020 alone, 5.6 billion malware attacks were recorded, which makes you wonder: what causes malware, and how can we stop it?
There are many sources of malware, like file sharing, opening spam email attachments and opening office documents from unknown sources. There are also different ways to stop it, such as using antivirus software, keeping your device updated with the latest patches, and only downloading from trusted sources.
Now, let’s look at the top three causes of malware and how you can stop each.
1. Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Services
Peer-to-peer file-sharing services are one of the most common ways for malware to spread.
Once a cybercriminal has infected one machine or device, they can often control it remotely and use it to send out more viruses and snare even more machines. If you have downloaded files from peer-to-peer networks without making sure that what you’re getting is safe, there’s a high chance that you will be infected.
To stop this, it’s wise to scan files with antivirus software before you open them. Last, most businesses are wise to prohibit the use of peer-to-peer sharing software in their organizations.
2. Macros in Office Documents
Another way malware can spread is through office documents shared via email, Slack, or what have you. Cybercriminals will hide malicious software in seemingly innocent Office documents that, once opened, deploy malware.
To stop this, you should be very careful when opening office documents from unknown sources. Be sure you know the person who sent you the information and verifies that their email address is correct. Understanding how the copy was sent or received can help you avoid malware infection.
Next, it’s also wise to use antivirus software on all devices, so if an infection does occur, it’s easy to quarantine and erase the malicious code.
3. Email Attachments
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to spread malware is through spam email attachments.
When opening up emails, be careful when clicking on any links in the body of the email and the attachments, as both can lead to accidentally downloading malware.
To avoid this, many email clients have built-in anti-virus scanners for attachments. When it comes to links in the body of an email, always hover over the link and look at the URL preview at the bottom of your browser. You should know right away if the website is legitimate.
Stay Safe from Malware Attacks With DataLocker
Malware is lurking everywhere, and it’s easy for it to spread–even via USB drives. Rather than risk accidentally storing malicious software on your drives, consider using DataLocker’s line of secure drives. Not only do they encrypt data, but they also have the option to add anti-malware software directly on the device. This ensures that nothing bad ever gets stored on a portable drive.
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