The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm and has drastically changed how we do things. With more people now forced to work from home, the world is now facing a rise in a new crop of problems. One of the most dominant issues in this COVID-19 era is the risk of malware attacks.

What is Malware?

Malware is a short form of malicious software. It refers to a piece of code that’s designed to intrude your system, collect, modify, or delete some data to cause harm and leverage the victim’s data for financial gain.

Recently, hackers have resorted to some Covid-related malware in a bid to attack more work-from-home workers. They now use malware disguised as Covid contact tracing apps, phishing emails with malicious attachments concerning ‘your Covid status,’ and deploying heavy attacks on the critical health care organizations and workers.

To avoid getting detected easily, hackers have come up with numerous malware strings that they use. These includes:

  • Viruses – A type of malware that spreads by attaching themselves to files that can then be shared with other devices through email attachments, internet downloads, or physical drives like USB disks. Viruses can corrupt tons of data, shut down your entire system, or even reformat your hard disk.
  • Trojan Horses – Refers to malware that disguises itself as legitimate software but contains malicious files. Hackers use it to trick you into downloading malicious apps or software. Once installed in your system, the hackers can now use it as a backdoor to spy and collect your data, monitor your activities, install other malware, and even gain control over your network.
  • Worms – This is a more dangerous type of virus. It utilizes vulnerabilities in your system and self-replicates (with no action from users) to infect an entire system and network. Once on your device, worms can delete files, steal your data, install backdoors, and install other malicious software.
  • Ransomware – This malware locks you out of your system and asks for a ransom to restore your system. It essentially holds your system captive by encrypting your essential files.
  • Spyware – This malware spies and collects your data without your knowledge. It harvests your passwords, login details, browsing habits, etc.

How to protect yourself from this malware

There being so many malware types out there; here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Ensure that all your software remains updated with the latest security patches. These patches often resolve any vulnerabilities spotted in your system.
  • Get an antivirus or anti-malware software. These software can detect and delete malware easily before they can wreak havoc on your entire system.
  • Use a VPN. Increasing security with a VPN reduces the risk of distributing malware through public Wi-Fi.
  • You should also be cautious with the downloads and attachments you open. If any files appear suspicious, don’t open it. If possible, never download files from corrupt sources.

Conclusion

With the above tips in your cyber security arsenal, you’ll have an edge against any attack that comes your way.

Title Image provided by Pixabay.com

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