Last month’s cybersecurity article focused on the role(s) cybersecurity plays in everyday life. This month, let’s further expand with a closer look at malware, a word formed by combining the words ’malicious’ and ‘software’.

Just as it sounds, it is a form of software that is designed to compromise a device and assist malicious actors in capturing personal information and carrying out other nefarious tasks. The destructive software can take many forms. Some common types of malware are Adware (unwanted ads), Ransomware (Pay Up!), and Spyware (I know what you are typing!). To learn more about these and other common types of malware, click here to view the Malware Tip Card on our website.

Why is This Important?

The threat of malware continues to grow, whether it is through a mass approach that requires little effort, or a more targeted tactic. The threat variants are increasing at an exponential rate with estimates exceeding 160 million this year alone. Unfortunately, a large percentage of this destructive code is targeted at devices in homes and businesses.

Call to Action

Through links, files, attachments and seemingly “free” downloads, malware is easily spread. The call to action is for end-users to be wary and take steps to protect themselves.

Start today with the basics:

  • Backup devices
  • Run the latest antivirus software
  • Set devices, applications, and software up for automatic updates
  • Exercise caution before clicking links, opening attachments, and downloading that “free” software

Learn more about malware through the educational videos posted at www.grm.net/cybersecurity/.