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Malware explained

What is a computer Virus

virus is a small program designed to cause trouble by gaining access to your device. It can copy your personal data or slow your device down. A virus spreads by duplicating and attaching itself to other files.

How can I get a computer virus?

You can get a computer virus by clicking on a malicious link, opening a document from an unknown person or even from someone you know whose account was hacked. Another way is by plugging in a external device that has been infected with virus code.

What does a computer virus do?

virus will cause a lot of trouble by gaining access to your computer, phone, tablet. It can copy your personal data or slow your device down. A virus spreads by duplicating and attaching itself to other files.

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What is Malware?

By combining the words ‘malicious’ (meaning ‘harmful’) and ‘software’ we get the word ‘malware’. Viruses are just one type of malware. Other types include spyware, worms and trojans.

How can I get malware?

You can get malware the same way you can get a computer virus, by clicking on a link that is infected with malware, installing software that is hiding malicious code, inserting an external device such as a USB or SD card.

What does malware do?

Malware is made to stop your device from running properly and sometimes to steal your information.

Your device can be harmed very quickly if it is infected by malware. It could crash, reboot or slow down.

Your internet connection may also slow down as the virus or worm searches for other devices to infect, or transmits your data back to its maker.

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Worms

Worms can spread from device to device, but unlike a virus they don’t need to attach themselves to other programs. Worms can copy themselves hundreds of times, so they can very quickly harm your device and other devices. A worm might copy itself onto your email account and then send a copy to all of your email contacts!

Trojan horse

A trojan horse (or just a trojan) pretends it will be a useful and safe program, when actually it will try to attack your device.

Trojans are named after the story of the Trojan Horse. It is said that many years ago the Greek army wheeled a large wooden horse to the gates of the city of Troy. The people of Troy thought it was a gift and wheeled it inside. They didn’t know that inside the horse were Greek soldiers waiting to attack. Can you see why a trojan horse on a device is named after this story?

Spyware

Spyware is software that installs itself onto devices and then steals personal information about the user, like passwords, email addresses and other important information. It often does it just by keeping a record of everything the user types, which is called key logging. Some spyware can even use your webcam without your knowledge.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. Ransomwaretypically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website.Ransomware can be devastating to an individual or an organization.

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How to avoid getting infected

You have to be smart when using your device. When using the web or email don’t click on anything unless you know what it is. Check if it is an email you’re expecting from an address you recognize or it is a site that you’re sure you can trust.

An email cannot corrupt your device on its own. Viruses can be hidden in attachments and these could corrupt your system when you run them. Remember not to run a program if you don’t know where it has come from and haven’t chosen to install it.

Install Anti-virus / Malware software

Install *anti-virus software and run regular scans. This will highlight any suspicious software.

How to get it and what to do if you are infected

You have to actually click, download or install the malicious code in order for it to affect your computer.  If you are connected to a network, then a virus or worm can affect all the other devices on your network.

If you suspect that you have a virus or malware, shut down the computer and remove the ethernet cable or take if off wireless until you can have it checked out or run a virus scanner on it.

Have I been Pwned?

Check your email account to see if it has been compromised, check all your email accounts, you will be surprised how many breaches that your email and password will show up in.

HAVE I BEEN PWNED?

What is a Paste?

paste is nothing more than text quite literally pasted onto a website whereupon it receives its own unique URL so that it can then be shared with others who may want to view the paste. The contents of a paste could be anything – a recipe, a block of code or of particular interest here, a dump of breached accounts.

The Dark Web

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool.

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Sure-fire signs you have a computer virus

Here are a few signs and symptoms that your computer or device has been infected by malware
  • Programs keeps closing unexpectedly
  • Hard drive constantly working
  • Suddenly a new program tells you have a virus and to pay money to remove it
  • Pop-Ups
  • Web browser redirects to unwanted website
  • Computer slows down
  • All of a sudden your hard drive is full
  • Computer constantly crashes and reboots
  • Computer freezes every time you click on a program or icon
  • Your anti-virus and or firewall is suddenly disabled
  • Unable to install programs
  • Suddenly your icons all disappear from your desktop
  • Unable to access your drives and folders

Suspect you are infected?

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