Tech Info

7 Facts And Myths About Malware

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
man working on two laptops

No matter what type of device you are using, it is vulnerable to threats from cybercriminals. Businesses and individuals must protect their data, and in order to do that, it is vital to understand cyber threats. Here are some facts and myths that everyone should be aware of when it comes to malware.

Fact: Viruses are malware

The term malware, which stands for malicious software, refers to any computer program meant to cause harm to your computer, laptop, or mobile device. Malware can cause a number of problems including breaking your device and slowing it down. Criminals also use malware to steal your personal information and even lock down business data until a ransom is paid. Click here for some info on the different types of malware.

Myth: Any error message means you have a virus

This is just a myth, although getting an error message can be scary. These are meant to warn you of both external threats and issues within the device itself. Hardware problems can be just as devastating as malware, so if you get any error message, be sure to read it thoroughly. Speak to your IT manager or technology solutions provider for help dealing with the error.

Myth: Users have to interact with a threat for it to be active

Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. Worms, for example, can perform their job once they are in a system. They can also replicate and propagate at will. This means that, unlike viruses, you don’t have to do anything to get them started or spread them.

Myth: You can trust emails from senders you know

If this was the case, malware would not spread as easily or as quickly. What you should be looking out for are links and files. If you are ever unsure of a link, do not click it. If you aren’t sure about a file, contact the sender and ask if they sent you something important. You can also talk to your IT professional to find out how to verify links and files are safe.

Fact: You won’t always know that your device is infected

Many people think that their computer or phone will tell them when it is infected. No malware will leave a trace of its presence so it can protect itself if it can be helped. Even ransomware, which works by notifying the victim that something has been locked down, will not become visible until it has done its job.

Fact: Malware can infect your device in many ways

You don’t need to just click on a link or download a file from an email to get malware. These are common ways of getting a virus, but there are many other methods of infection that you should be aware of. Here are some of the most well-known ways that malware can spread.

  • Downloading a file from emails, filesharing apps, and websites
  • Visiting a compromised webpage with infected HTML (known as drive-by downloads)
  • Clicking links to malicious websites in emails, social network posts, and even text messages
  • Connecting your device (laptop or phone for example) to an infected system or hard drive
  • Phishing scams that can appear as harmless quizzes or emergency alerts from legitimate entities

Fact: There are SOME signs that your device is infected

Although it’s true that malware is developed to leave little to no trace, there are some indications that it is there. The number one sign is that the performance of your device is slower than usual. You may also notice more pop-ups than usual or that some programs won’t work at all. All of these issues can point to other things, though, so it is important to get your equipment scanned for malware and inspected for hardware or software problems.

Total technology solutions with Andrews & Associates

If you think your computer or laptop may have malware, or that your business or personal data could be breached, contact Andrews & Associates. Our team of tech experts can help you identify any weaknesses in your systems and make sure you get the best Antimalware Program for your needs. You can reach us at (806) 242-1088 or Contact Us for more information.