Malware has the potential to cause serious damage to a person’s life, especially if it’s particularly potent software that can lock down a computer or steal credentials. Today, new types of malware hit the Internet all the time, and companies work extremely hard to ensure that their hardware and software has the necessary patches and fixes so that malware cannot cause any problems.
Despite all of the information out there about malware, most people remain relatively uninformed, and many experts feel that this is a vital part of the issue, especially as bad actors continue to use more complex methods to get what they want. One of the best ways a user can begin protecting themselves against common malware threats is by knowing which threats are actually real and which are based on fake information or uninformed anecdotes.
Expensive Antivirus Suites Are The Solution
First, let’s start with a misconception regarding how to keep malware from infecting a computer. For a long time, antivirus suites and software had their place; it kept malware at bay, almost always checking and updating malware signature databases for all the latest threats, and helped keep a computer running for longer.
But over time, many of these suites became less and less useful as Microsoft continued working on Windows Defender. Windows Defender is generally more than enough to keep a computer safe and is considered to be more efficient at purging malware from the Windows operating system than just about anything else.
Malware Can Infect Computers On Its Own
It might make much more sense for a person to believe that malware infected their computer without their input, but this is almost never the case. Modern operating systems have a series of security checks and balances in place to ensure that software can’t just install itself without approval from the owner of the computer.
The Linux operating system, for example, often requires that a person type in a password before the software can successfully be installed, such as installing Chrome to check out the latest horse racing tips. Apple devices and software don’t tend to suffer from nearly as many malware issues due to the fact that it’s a closed and tightly regulated ecosystem.
Software Is The Biggest Threat
This is a strange one to wrap your head around, but in general, malware isn’t usually the biggest threat that a person has to worry about. Computers running the latest versions of their respective operating systems are typically quite safe from malware, which is why most hacks occur via phishing.
Phishing is a way for a bad actor to gain access to another person’s account by using the victim’s stolen credentials. The victim will receive an extremely convincing email that seems to have been sent by their bank – they click on it, unaware of the threat, and will be taken to a duplicate of the normal banking website, where they then enter their credentials.