Malicious software can disrupt IT and computer systems and, in more extreme cases, delete your personal data or hold it for a ransom.
Here is SPYSCAPE’s guide to malware and why you might be a target:
What is it?
Malicious software, or ‘malware’ for short, is any software or program designed to damage or hack a target. It includes viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and ransomware.
Why is it happening?
Everything is now connected. The internet is the world’s most accessible gateway to valuable personal and financial information, classified secrets, and entire physical infrastructures. The more there is to attack, the more malware is likely to be created.
What’s the gain?
Spammers, hackers, governments and companies have all used malware of some description to get what they want. That might be infecting a home computer with hundreds of ads, stealing credit card information, or disrupting the operations of a nuclear facility. It’s happening all around us, all the time.
Why would you be a target?
Everyone has value. You don’t have to be the CEO of a large company or a celebrity to worry about malware. Your online information may be useful for email spammers, botnet creators, or even trolls. If you own a moderately speedy laptop or phone, you’re a prime target for malware that can hijack system processing power to spread further.
Should you be worried?
In the grand scheme of things, no. The worst kinds of viruses and exploits tend to be reserved for prime targets. However, there are actions you can take to avoid being compromised. Read SPYSCAPE’s Top 10 Online Safety Tips to help protect yourself.