The first step in protecting yourself against malware is understanding what malware is.
Well, malware is short for “malicious software.” This is software that’s specifically designed to steal information, spy on you, or damage your computer.
There are various types of malware. But generally, software is considered malware based on the intent. So, anything with malicious intent is considered malware.
Malware is created for profit through forced advertising (adware), stealing sensitive information (spyware), spreading spam, or extorting money (ransomware).
And as cybercrime grows and becomes more profitable, new types are created every day.
Factors that put you at risk for malware include:
- Defects in your operating system
- Not keeping your operating system and software up-to-date
- Visiting “free movie” websites and the like
- Giving users too much permission
- Downloading mysterious email attachments