Malware, What Is It, And How To Stay Safe!
What is Malware?
Malware is a form of software that has the intention of damaging or disabling computers and networks.
Example Of Malware…
One way for malware to get onto your computer is through file sharing websites. File sharing websites are places where users can download files (such as music, documents, videos and software) that have been shared to the Internet via another user. Malware gets onto these websites when a user wishes to do damage to another persons computer. All these people have to do in order to infect other computers via file sharing is to share this Malware to the file sharing website, and pretend that it is something else like a game or a piece of video editing software.
On the 14th September 2011, BBC News reported that popular file sharing service ‘Bit Torrent’ had been used to download malware onto users computers. People who had thought themselves to be downloading a legitimate piece of software had actually downloaded a form of malware onto their computers. This particular piece of malware “When installed, the program pops up fake warnings that a virus has been detected and prompts users for payment to remove it.”1
This is not the only time that this particular popular file sharing site has been compromised due to Malware. The BBC News goes on to describe it as “synonymous with illegal downloads” 2. This statement makes the point that malware is often disguised as an illegal download.
Here are the suggestions for not getting malware on your computer:
- Do not download illegal software onto your computer. This is often an easy way for people to disguise malware.
- Only download software from its developer’s website, or a reputable 3rd party website/service (such as the Mac App store, or the upcoming Windows Marketplace)
Ensure you have the latest firewall installed on your network. Always check with your ISP. And ensure your Mac/Windows firewall is switched on (Via security center in windows and System Preferences on the Mac
1- Unknown Authorship, 2011. BBC News [Online] (14th September) Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14912616 Accessed [9th October 2011]
2- Unknown Authorship, 2011. BBC News [Online] (14th September) Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14912616 Accessed [9th October 2011]