How should I setup my PC to protect against malware or virus?

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Malware or Virus Protection

Overview

So, have you been previously infected with a virus?
Or are you trying to get ahead of a potential infection? 

Over the years, advancements in anti-virus and malware protection have occurred.  As a result, third-party anti-malware companies are offering their best products today to combat any malicious activity. Unfortunately, some new malware or viruses still get past the latest versions of popular monitoring software.  There has always been a “whack-a-mole” approach to contain malware or virus.

This article will go over the types of malware, definitions, common attack methods, and recommended setup for your PC.

Types of malware

Malware has really taken the for-front of malicious threats today.  Viruses would be a sub-set of Malware.  Viruses are typically considered “old” in reference to malicious activity against your PC. 

Types of popular “known” malware are listed below:

  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Keyloggers
  • Bots

Definitions

Ransomware is software that uses encryption to disable a target’s access to its data until a ransom is paid.  Can be so damaging that independent and small businesses could go bankrupt.

Spyware is software that collects information about users’ activities without their knowledge or consent.

Adware is software that tracks a user’s surfing activity to determine which ads to serve them.

Keyloggers is software that that monitors user activity typically tracking each key on your keyboard and click that is occurring.

Bots is software that performs automated tasks on command.

Common ways you could get infected

Malware can be introduced into a PC through phishing, malicious attachments, or malicious downloads, social engineering or flash drives.

  • Phishing – Hackers targeting people to click on links with malicious intent
  • Vishing – Like Phishing but using telephone, can be used in tandem with Phishing attempt
  • Downloading pirated software, movies, or music
  • Downloading email attachments
  • Visiting malicious websites
  • Clicking on links not exactly knowing what you are getting

Advancement in protection

As of result of the damage caused in the past, detection methods have improved greatly.  Not only for your operating system but third-party tools.  Some of the third-party anti-virus tools are notoriously known to slow down or add unneeded bloatware to PC’s to help sell their products. Threat detection and real-time monitoring built into operating systems and third-party tools is the main method.

Recommended Malware Protection Setup

In general, you want to avoid some of the free anti-virus programs.  The protection is typically less than ideal and they usually have to up-sell you for a real-time monitoring solution. 

As a result, operating systems have advanced greatly.  Therefore, I recommend enabling your operating systems security settings and having a good malware protection program installed.

For PC (Windows 10+)

  • Search your PC for “Windows Security”. 
  • Review Windows Security settings. 
    • Make sure as many as you can are checked green.
      • Virus & Threat Protection
      • Firewall
  • Additional Recommended Malware Software – Malware Bytes (Savings Included)
    • You will want to purchase the monitoring features as scan’s will occur in real-time and stops malware from even infecting your PC.  Trying to remove malware can be very expensive especially if you are hit with ransomware.

For Mac

  • Recommended Malware Software – Malware Bytes (Savings Included)
    • You will want to purchase the monitoring features as scan’s will occur in real-time and stops malware from even infecting your PC.  Trying to remove malware can be very expensive especially if you are hit with ransomware.

More protection advice

Apply QA has partnered with Michael Pasono, a leader in data protection and systems quality to publish a book on this very topic.  The book is called “Identity and Data Protection for the Average Person” and can be found on Amazon.

Learn about 3 main attacks causing a collection of your personal data. This book reveals many leading best practices in securing your identity and data from being harvested and limiting your risk for exposure if a data breach occurs.

Data Protection Book

Other Quality Assurance Information

Knowing when and how to apply protection for your software is what makes Quality Assurance experts needed.

Please visit Apply QA to let us help you cover all aspects of data protection on your product or service.

For more QA related information, articles, or services, please visit https://applyqa.com