Malware is dangerous or plain annoying software designed to infect and covertly access a device without the knowledge of its owner. There are several types of malware: spyware, adware, phishing, Trojans, ransomware, viruses, worms, rootkits, and programs aimed at taking control of the browser.
How malware can harm systems and clients
Attackers use malware for a variety of purposes, including obtaining personal data and passwords, stealing money, sending spam, and blocking access to the device for its owner. Just like the flu, it interferes with a system’s normal operation. For an online business owner, falling prey to malware is even more risky: Clients’ data, when compromised, can seriously harm the client’s relationship with and perception of said business.
Common ways of malware injection
A malware attack can be carried out in a variety of ways. The most common ways for malware to enter a system are via the Internet and via email. It can pretty much happen anytime you’re working online.
Malware can enter your computer when you browse hacked websites, open game demos, download infected music files, install new toolbars from an unfamiliar manufacturer, download programs from sources you don’t trust, or open malicious email attachments. Basically, an injection can happen in any situation when you download content from the World Wide Web to a device that does not have a strong enough security service.
Malicious objects often hide in seemingly ordinary programs. An injection is more likely if you download them not through a trusted app store, but from websites or messages. It is important to pay attention to warning messages when installing applications, especially if they ask permission to access your email or other personal information.
The role of hosting in protecting from malware
With malware becoming more sophisticated and more and more of our personal data stored online, the threat of malware stealing our sensitive information and using it for fraudulent purposes has never been more real.
The most essential way to prevent a security breach and a spread of malware through a website is choosing a hosting provider that provides a powerful hosting infrastructure and offers an advanced security service. A service like that – especially if it includes automatic security scans, provides containerization so your site has its own space, and allows the user to makes updates automatically – will provide vital guarantees for your website.
No matter the additional measures you take, if your hosting provider doesn’t prioritize your security, your website will remain at risk.
How to prevent and scan mitigating risks
As a website owner/admin, there is a higher security bar for yourself. Below are several additional measures you can undertake to protect yourself:
- Use a security service on your computer/phone and perform periodic security scans
- Download apps from trusted sites only
- Read user reviews before downloading anything
- Check the number of downloads before downloading
- Make sure the requested permissions are reasonable
- Avoid unverified links
- Update your operating system and applications regularly
- Be careful when using free wifi when entering confidential information
- Use a VPN whenever you need extra privacy
- Avoid using USB devices of those you don’t trust