Malware: What Does It Look Like And How To Prevent it

By Tech Experts Staff
The most common issue among users for both home and businesses alike are malware infections.

While malware is a generic term for malicious software, the fact is all malware slows your computer down and brings potential security risks along with it.

Malware can be anything from viruses, trojans, and spyware to “PC Optimization” programs that really do your computer more harm than good.

While some are more serious issues than others they all have negative effects on a workstation or a server so they all need to be taken seriously.

What does malware look like? In most cases an unusual window will open up, something you do not recognize.

Many times malware looks like the speed up your pc programs or could even be designed to look as if it’s antivirus software. It is very common to see software like this requesting credit card information to purchase the software and remove the so called infections.

Do not ever give credit card information out on your computer unless you’re absolutely certain it is a program you’ve downloaded and setup.

One example is your antivirus software will sometimes let you extend a subscription that is expiring via credit card.

“How can I even get a virus, I have antivirus software installed?” This is the single most common question we have from clients that come in for virus infections on their computers.

It is a common misconception that antivirus software means you cannot get a virus. The fact is antivirus software is strictly preventative.

The way antivirus software works is the antivirus vendor makes a virus definition based off of a virus. This definition is what allows the antivirus software to find and stop viruses from infecting a computer. That being said, someone has to get infected before the antivirus companies have an example virus to make a definition for.

Due to this everyone, whether they have antivirus software or not, are susceptible to viruses.

The difference between someone with antivirus software installed and someone that does not is that the person with it installed is not susceptible to infections after a definition has been made, while the other is.

“If antivirus does not completely protect me then how do I keep from getting viruses?” This is the follow up question we always get. For starters, safe browsing habits help to greatly reduce the chances of getting a virus infection.

Do not click on ads. The most common place for someone to get a virus is the ads on websites like Facebook that are very appealing and tend to catch users eyes.

Another thing that can be done to reduce the chance of infection or at least the severity of it is to use a standard user account. Society as a whole has a bad habit of always using the administrator account on a computer for everything they do.

The problem with this is that if a user does download a virus, the virus is now working on an account that has full privileges to the entire computer versus an account that only has permissions on a very small part of it.

Aside from having good browsing habits the best thing you can have on a workstation or a server is a high quality antivirus. Paid antiviruses tend to offer other features to help further protect your computer. We sell a Managed Vipre Antivirus that has very high detection rates and is business grade software. It is very light weight and does not slow down computers.

If you are interested in looking into our antivirus solution to help protect your business or residential computers let us know.