Unfortunately, the phrase “malware” is something most of us have heard. It’s a term everyone who uses a computer is, unfortunately, quite aware of. Malware comes in a variety of forms and can spread through a variety of channels. Consider all the personal information you might give away by clicking on the link for the free vacation you think you’ve just won. Let’s start by going through the many types of malwares you can encounter while perusing the internet.
These behave remarkably like the influenza virus. You can catch viruses, worms, and Trojan horses by clicking on or running malicious files. Once inside a computer, the virus spreads by making copies of itself and integrating into other programs. Then it travels from computer to computer, infecting a whole network, much like the flu jumps from student to student in an elementary school.
A computer virus that does exactly what its name suggests. It is software that frequently attaches to legal or banking downloads. Once inside your computer, it intercepts the data you enter and transfers it to a website for spying. Since spyware drains resources to operate, a slow computer is typically the first symptom of its presence.
This one is all too familiar. Pop-ups annoy you by informing you that they infected your computer or that you’ve won a prize. These also build upon other downloads or apps, such as toolbars, widgets, or free desktop backgrounds. Fortunately, adware is not inherently harmful to your computer. The effect is irritating but not harmful. However, once you click on something, especially when solicited for personal information, you’ve essentially opened the floodgates.
As cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity, ransomware has proliferated. This kind of malware frequently doesn’t immediately harm your PC. It will lock or encrypt your data files and then take them hostage. The hacker will demand a ransom to give you the key once you pay him. If not, the hacker may delete all the data from your device.
Malware that is becoming more prevalent because of the cryptocurrency boom.
By bombarding your computer with denial-of-service attacks, botware eventually transforms it into a zombie. It aids in disguising whatever is occurring below the surface. An unexpected sign of botware is an increase in your utility bill. The fan on your computer will run longer than usual, and the CPU will run continuously.
Now that you are better aware of the sneaky software that may damage your devices, it is time to explore a less well-known malware scam. Malvertising has been on the rise on Google, to the point where they’ve made a specific landing page encouraging users to report it and outlining how to stop it. Cybercriminals use a variety of display ads to spread malware via clickbait or ads with harmful code concealed inside them that automatically redirect you to phishing pages.
Unfortunately, because legitimate ad networks disseminate so many ads, hackers frequently employ them. Without the advertiser having the faintest idea, it becomes simple for cyber criminals to insert a malicious code into an ad. The only way an advertiser will eventually learn is if Google labels their website as harboring malware, which will influence how they appear in search results.
The worst forms of malicious advertising link consumers’ PCs to an exploit kit, which analyzes the device and searches for flaws. From there, hackers have full access to the computer and sensitive data and the ability to install malware and ransomware. Like most other malware scenarios, keeping things up to date is the best way to prevent hackers from destroying your device or stealing your identity. Programs like Java, Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight fall under this category. Although ad networks are working hard to stay ahead of the curve, it is up to you to support them.
Alert Google about any shady ads you spot. You should check the script of the advertisement to see if it contains any suspicious code, including encrypted code. After you remove the ad from your website, notify your ad network. Many websites help verify advertisements and check them for questionable code. The best action with any malicious software is to be vigilant and report suspicious activity.