Although you may not have experienced unpleasant situations for a while, like getting a virus of annoying pop-ups, it is far from the truth that you are safe from malware attacks. How can you spot the threat right away, and what are the best methods of fighting back? While such materials as Vipre antivirus review provide the readers with relevant insights, it is important to know the safe online behavior rules, so you won’t expose yourself to the malware. According to SonicWall’s 2019 mid-year threat report, new malware is indeed decreasing over time. Still, many businesses are exposed to malware encrypted in Office files and PDFs, with ransomware and IoT attacks being relevant for ordinary users.
Let’s dive into the details and understand why we need antivirus software in 2020.
What Are the Symptoms of Malware Infection?
We are living in times when hardware and software potential exceeds one’s expectations. From realistic graphic quality in video games to the possibility of transferring tremendous amounts of data within several seconds, the most visible signs of malware infection are the ones you should recognize:
- No signs of infection at all is also a sign. It sounds like an overreacting, but that’s why you should have real-time protection and run daily scans for spotting the threat that waits for its time to be installed. Keeping track of your system’s health is an essential part of staying safe.
- System crashes and software crashes may signify either incompatibility of some software components or malware. Foremost, you can run a system check or contact specialist for it. Secondly, daily AV scans save you a lot of nerves and time, as they spot the threat in time.
- Your computer CPU significantly slows down, which is one of the most obvious signs of malware. It also may indicate that your memory is full of old software, or you try to do too many operations at once. Scan the system and check your Task Manager to analyze what can be the problem.
- Your Internet traffic is way too high that you would expect. You may check for the last update for your system, check software that downloads new data, or check whether there’s a download you may have forgotten about.
- Your software or apps run automatically or crash unexpectedly. Try to run a scan, update the system, or reinstall the system altogether.
- Your social media accounts are probably hacked, as your friends notice suspicious behavior from you. First and foremost, go to your profile and request “log out from all devices, ” so you will disable hackers from having access to your account, then update your password to a stronger one and use 2FA option if it is possible. Second, run a scan for all your devices.
- After using USB, all files are missing, damaged, or turned into shortcuts. Always use safe mode when using external USB drivers, let the AV-solution run a check and diagnostics before you allow your system to read it.
- Pestering ads and pop-ups are a clear sign you got adware. Always use firewalls and VPNs to avoid getting them in the first place.
- All of the above are not unique signs to spot the problem, you may spot suspicious desktop icons, or your browser will open pages you didn’t click on, and so on. Stay conscious about your system and your files, so you can say something is wrong even before your antivirus software reports it.
Safe Online Behavior and How to Avoid Malware
You should be aware of everything you put online, from your name to your credit card number. Be very careful with sharing something via unprotected channels; for instance, messengers often are not the best way to send classified information to someone. Even if you have to share something, be cautious about the possibility of erasing the information later.
If you are an active social media user, you should be careful with giveaways, lotteries, and other shady offers from unverified users. Often, scammers expect you to believe them and try your luck, clicking on the links, so don’t give them even a chance.
Be aware of what websites you are visiting, what ads you are opening, and two steps ahead of hackers. Pay attention to a safety lock on the website, which indicates the authenticity of it. Most phishing happens when you don’t pay attention to these details.
When being in public and using unprotected networks, use firewalls and VPN. Public WiFi is one of the most common places where hackers can connect to you and steal your data.
The right AV product can save you a lot of time and effort to retrieve stolen data. The unwanted outcome of malware is your messed up system, while data breaches can cause you months of unpleasant surprises.
At the same time, most AV products come with various additional features, where you don’t have to buy them all separately. For instance, password managers, cloud storage, VPNs, and other essential products are part of one antivirus suite.
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