malware new orleansMost business owners know what antivirus software is and have a vague idea what it’s supposed to do. But does your business really need Antivirus software?

This is a question that I receive from time to time from some of my clients and my answer is ALWAYS YES. Without proper protection malware protection for your computer you are putting your company, your clients and yourself at risk for disaster. Without proper antivirus protection and better yet a security suite of protection, you are leaving yourself and your business vulnerable to hackers and malicious software that can damage you and your business.

What is Malware?

To understand the potential dangers business face resulting in a computer being infected by malware you have to know what malware is. Virus removal for New Orleans businesses.

Simple stated, Malware is a software program that has been designed to secretly access your computer, network or system without your consent. These programs can be malicious and are often dangerous to the security of your company. Malware is a generic term and includes viruses, worms, adware, spyware, and other form of malicious or unwanted software. Once your PC has been infected you will experience unexpected and undesirable results ranging from being bombarded by annoying popup ads (in the case of adware), to having your personal and confidential information stolen (by being infected by keystroke-logging spyware used for identity theft) to outright destruction of your valuable documents and information. Some of the most devious malware will lock up your data and demand a ransom before you can access them. To stop malware it’s best to use a managed antivirus program.

Let’s take a Look at the Different Types of Malware Common in Today’s World

Viruses

Normally a virus enters your computer through a spam email or attachment. A virus can move or damage your files, consume your computer’s memory and cause your computer to behave strangely.

Drive-by viruses and drive-by downloads

Drive-by virus or drive-by download is a term that refer to a type of virus which is installed when a user visits a website, causing malware to be downloaded and even executed on the system, often without the user’s consent or knowledge. Equally, however, drive-by downloads can be installed alongside a user-requested application – particularly if a seemingly reputable and trusted website has been targeted by those with malicious or criminal intent.

Worms

A worm is similar to a virus but is slightly different in that once it has infected your computer it can act autonomously, multiplying itself to affect the whole network and sending copies of itself to other systems. That’s why if your computer is on a network it’s imperative to make sure all computers are properly protected. Worms can find the weak link in a network and spread its mayhem using the network to all computers causing much damage.

Adware and Spyware

Some adware is safe to use, for example they may offer enhanced search facilities from the toolbar of your browser, or allow access to useful programs such as games and utilities. But there is usually a catch associated with these programs. You usually must agree to view the advertising messages too. While this may be fine for adult users of the PC, some adverts may be distracting or inappropriate for younger users.

While all adware is annoying, some adware is not so safe. They may take control of your computer and spawn pop-up adverts of no interest and relevance. Some adware will also act as spyware on your system, gathering information about you from the hard drive of your computer, logging your keystrokes, and delivering this information back to the originator of the code. This is a key technique used in cybercrime, used to capture personal and sensitive data in order to facilitate identity theft and carry out illegal financial transactions. That’s why it’s best to illuminate any and all adware from your computer and avoid the financial disaster that can occur through as a result of having a compromised computer.

However the malware operates, it is sure to cause disruption and inconvenience to the user at best or, at worst, result in loss of data and personal information, and financial damage. While technological protection tools in the form of internet security and anti-virus software will provide a first line of defense, they can never be guaranteed to be 100 per cent effective. Ultimately, as with any form of online safety risk, education and awareness is key.

Ransomware

Ransomware restricts access to your computer or your important business files and demands payment in order for the restriction to be removed. Two common types are

* Lockscreen ransomware: displays an image that prevents you from accessing your computer

* Encryption ransomware: encrypts files on your system’s hard drive and sometimes on shared network drives, usb drives or external hard drives and demands payment to release the encrypted information.

Ransomware is becoming more and more common on the Internet these days. Cyber criminals are using these practices as a business model in an effort to become rich based upon the pain of unsuspecting businesses.

Protect Yourself and Your Company BEFORE it’s too late

All it takes is one slipup and all the hard work you’ve put into building your business; the countless hours of building your operations, your client data, your sensitive financial data can be ruined in a blink of an eye. Having antivirus installed on your computer is not enough. You need a system in place that will prevent MOST infections from occurring and alert a skilled technician when any malware gets buy so they can react quickly to remove the threat before any serious damage can occur.

There is no one antivirus program that can keep out ALL of virus running rampant on the internet today. That’s why it’s essential to have a solid backup and better yet a disaster plan in place to protect you, your business and your livelihood from financial disaster.