What Is Malware Anyway? And How Can I Protect My Business Against It? -
IT Support in Seattle

It’s no secret — malware and the criminal organizations that develop it are here to stay. In fact, industry experts agree that malware is actually becoming more advanced and more adaptable as it constantly evolves to circumvent our efforts to stop it. A good IT servicer can help you keep your business ahead of the curve by arming your IT infrastructure with the most current, powerful anti-malware tools available.

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Malware Is a Hybrid of Evil and Innovation

The name itself is a hybridization of the terms “software” and “malicious.” Basically, malware is an aggressive form of damaging software that infiltrates your computer system, causes damage, and jeopardizes your security.

At their worst (or best, depending on whose side you’re on!), the most effective malware programs can take over an entire system and manipulate the way it operates according to the malware’s intent. It can disseminate threats, compromise personal information, and even cause you to lose access to your entire system.

How Do I Know if I Have Malware?

Some common signs that can indicate the presence of malware include:

  • Persistent Anti-Virus Alerts
  • Outgoing Email Spam
  • Slow or sluggish browser and computer operation
  • Constant Pop-Up Ads

How Can I Protect My Business Against Malware?

The way businesses protect their computer systems against attack needs to adapt as the malware evolves. And, since malware is a constant threat that is here to stay — at least for now — there really is no time like the present.

  • Encourage responsible web browsing by employees, since less-than-savory websites are loaded with malware and viruses just waiting to attack.
  • Keep browsers up-to-date. An updated browser helps keep systems secure and data private. Many updates actually fix security issues, so if you’re running an outdated browser, you may be inviting malware, hackers and other criminals into your system.
  • Keep anti-virus programs current. Anti-virus software needs to be as up-to-date as possible to detect and destroy viruses and protect your system against vulnerability, which can lead to malware.
  • Avoid initializing “free” and other suspicious downloads, as these can actually install malware on your computer.

Other important precautions you can take involve a bit of proactive behavior on the browsing front. Businesses should implement browsing best practices, and encourage employees to:

  • Check the security certificates to determine any suspicious site’s legitimacy.
  • Use sites like Google Safe Browsing to verify a website’s safety.
  • Click with caution while surfing the web, and make sure to click only on sites that are verified as trustworthy.
  • Avoid opening an attachment unless you trust where it came from and the person sending it. And even then, exercise caution — after all, the sender may have been infected by malware! Industry experts recommend only opening attachments that you were expecting, with titles that you recognize, from senders you trust.
  • Deploy an industry-respected, effective anti-virus program. A good anti-virus program installed by a qualified IT technician — not the “free download” variety, which can actually install malware to your system — will identify, interrupt and destroy any malware attacks before they have the opportunity to do any harm.

Your IT servicer can help protect your business from malware attacks. Some of the methods your servicer will implement include:

  • Enabling of auto-updates
  • Install industry-respected anti-virus software
  • Removal of unnecessary software and applications
  • Disabling and removal of Java
  • Implement two-factor authentication process
  • Install full-disk encryption protocol
  • Install the HTTPS everywhere plugin
  • Implement strong password best practices

There’s no such thing as too much prevention when it comes to malware. Apex is here to help protect you and your business against even the most advanced threats. If you think your computer system may be infected by malware, or you’d like to stop it in its tracks, we are here to help.

Apex is the trusted choice for all things IT security-related when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology threats, tips, and news. Contact us at (800) 310-2739 or send us an email at info@apex.com for more information.

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