Does Your Computer Need Anti-Malware
As a modern Internet user, you’ve probably heard both the terms ‘malware’ and ‘computer virus’. So, it can be challenging to decide what kind of cybersecurity software you need. Should you install anti-malware software or antivirus software?
Technically, antivirus software should only offer protection against viruses, while anti-malware software should provide defence against all types of malicious software. However, experts use both terms interchangeably today.
If you download advanced antivirus software, it’s highly likely that it protects your computer against all kinds of unfriendly, invasive, and deliberately malicious, unwanted programs that seek to occupy, harm, or immobilize your computer or mobile devices. So, when you look at the latest anti-malware vs antivirus software today, there’s rarely a difference.
Advanced Antivirus Software
With cybersecurity experts detecting over 300,000 new malicious files every day, it’s critical to download advanced antivirus software that protects your computer against established and emerging malware threats.
For example, the sophisticated cybersecurity software by Malwarebytes analyzes a potential threat’s structure, behaviour, and other attributes to proactively remediate malicious software. In addition, it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer real-time protection from phishing scams, online scams, infected sites, fraudulent websites, malicious links etc.
Macs Need Antivirus Software Too
It’s a falsehood that Macs don’t get viruses. Although Macs are certainly more reliable and secure than regular PCs, they aren’t invulnerable to malware. Part of the reason why Macs have traditionally had fewer malware infections is that they had a smaller market share than Windows-powered PCs.
However, as Macs gain user adoption, they face more cyber threats. For example, according to an article by Forbes, “the volume of Mac threats increased by more than 400% year-on-year in 2019, outpacing Windows “threats per endpoint” by a ratio of nearly two to one.”
Another recent and more alarming report written by Thomas Reed for cybersecurity company Red Canary shares that a new mysterious malware called Silver Sparrow infects 40,000 Macs. Interestingly, Silver Sparrow even affects Apple’s latest M1 chips. Your Mac’s default security system must be complemented by cutting-edge antivirus software to stop these threats.
The List of Malware Suspects
When downloading antivirus software, ensure that it protects your computer from the following malware:
- Viruses: Computer viruses are the oldest threats in the book. The first PC virus, Brain, was released in 1986 and showed how destructive viruses could be. Newer strains of computer viruses were even more dangerous, crippling systems as they corrupted all sorts of files in their path. The best way to protect your computer from a virus is to avoid clicking on untrustworthy executables. A good antivirus program with an up-to-date database is also a good tool against viruses. In addition, avoid downloading programs from unreliable sources — pirated software often carries computer viruses and other types of malware.
- Worms: Like viruses, worms are self-replicating malware that may render your computer unusable. However, unlike viruses, worms spread through networks. A dangerous worm can exploit network security flaws and quickly spread across countless devices. Like viruses, you can avoid worms by using excellent cybersecurity software and avoiding opening suspicious links and attachments.
- Adware: While adware isn’t a destructive type of malware, it can certainly spoil your time on your computer. It usually throws up advertisements on your screen, sometimes filling up your entire browser. Some adware also tracks your activity on the Internet for marketers to hit you with more targeted ads. More intrusive adware may also hijack your browser and change your homepage constantly. You can download an adware removal tool like AdwCleaner to get rid of the unwanted program. To avoid an adware infection, only download reputable software. Remember, freeware often silently installs adware on computers to generate revenue for the program developers.
- Spyware: This is one of the most dangerous types of malware. Spyware is used by thieves, hackers, stalkers, and even predators to breach your security and privacy. While some types of spyware monitor your browsing activity, other types of spyware can log your keystrokes, record you quietly through your webcam, or send your GPS coordinates to a threat actor. To avoid a spyware, keylogger, or stalkerware attack, use the latest cybersecurity software, avoid suspicious websites, and don’t accept software or hardware gifts from untrustworthy people. Keep in mind that spyware like hardware keyloggers can be embedded in keyboards, USB devices, etc.
- Ransomware: When cybercriminals want to commit financial crimes, they often launch a ransomware attack. This dangerous malware infection will restrict access to your computer and throw up a warning sign demanding money through an undetectable digital currency like Bitcoin. Stay clear of dodgy emails, text messages, and untrustworthy links to avoid ransomware. It would also help if you invested in a proactive cybersecurity system that provides ransomware protection.
- Rootkit: A cybercriminal can use a rootkit to gain access to your computer as an administrator. There are many different types of rootkits, including firmware, bootloader, memory, program, and more. Keep up your network security with a strong firewall, update your operating system regularly, and stay wary of fraudulent websites and emails.
- Cryptojacking: With the prices of digital currencies like Bitcoin soaring, hackers are looking for new ways to improve their crypto-mining resources. Many use malicious cryptojacking software to use your computer’s resources for crypto-mining. Not only does this malware slow down your computer and your Internet connection, but it can also send your electricity bill skyrocketing. Avoid free VPNs and free proxy websites because their webmasters can use them to infect your computer with mining malware. If your computer or router is constantly running at full capacity, you may have a malicious crypto-mining infection. Run your anti-malware program immediately to remove the unwanted software.
- Exploits: Malware that takes advantage of security loopholes in your software can be called an exploit. The best way to protect your system from exploits is to keep your Windows or Mac updated. Both Microsoft and Apple regularly release patches to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. To make the task less labour-intensive, you can set your operating system to update automatically. You also need to keep in mind that a lot of PC issues can be fixed manually as well and there are great resources online like BestPCTips.com — where professionals can answer your questions and help you fix your issues for free.
With so many threats on the Internet, you must use a state-of-the-art antivirus program that’s proactive and uses behaviour-based technology to remediate all types of malware threats, whether you use a PC or Mac.
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