Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware Protection. Confused?
Malware is a collective term covering a whole range of malicious software which, at worst can corrupt your PC system, destroy your data or at best be a nuisance. It includes Trojans, spyware, worms, adware, ransomware, and yes, viruses too. So, all viruses are Malware. Not all malware are viruses.
Ransomware is likely to see the biggest increase in occurrence during 2017. Somewhere, right now, someone is clicking a link which will initiate a devastating process on their PC. They will continue working unaware that, in the background, all their files are being secretly encrypted with a code which is impossible to crack except by the perpetrator. Shortly, a message will pop up telling them how to pay a sizable sum (could be £1000) and that you have just a few days to pay or all your data will be lost. The worst of it is you may pay and still not get your data back. Also, your PC may be left unusable.
There is a new variant of ransomware emerging which turns victims into attackers by offering a pyramid scheme-style discount. The victim is offered the ability to unlock their files for a cash payment, usually one bitcoin ($772.67/£613.20). Alternatively if you pass on the malware link to your contacts and two or more people install this file and pay, they will decrypt your files for free. Read more here.
So, how can I be sure I am protected?
It is virtually impossible for most people who use PCs to know if they are properly protected. This is further complicated by the fact that, as many products are marketed as Anti-Virus, it may not be obvious that they offer additional protection. However, none can catch everything. Security experts recommend multiple tools for best protection. Here is our recommendation;
- Use the free, yes free Windows Defender anti-virus system, which is included with Windows 8 and 10 (and can be downloaded free as Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7).
- Install a specialist Anti-Malware application which specifically protects you against ransomware and other advanced malware and blocks malicious websites. We have tested, and are happy to recommend Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro Alert. This software is not free but well worth the small charge.
- Put in place a good backup regime which includes a combination of local and cloud backup systems. We can advise on what is best for you.
Computer Business Services is based in Andover and Hertford providing a full range of IT services for both businesses and domestic clients. Do you have a requirement or would you simply like some free advice? Why not Contact Us