Emerging Security Threats: Malware
Here are some numbers to ponder:
So What Is Malware?
Unlike traditional computer viruses, malware can come in the form of spyware, adware and more recently ransomware. Keylogging is a particularly nasty threat that few PC users know about or take the time to protect against.
Whatever the delivery model, malware is intended to compromise your identity and steal your data—if well executed, you won’t even know your PC is affected until it’s too late.
From Russia With Love
Malware is big business—to the tune of $110 billion in costs to consumers per year. So it’s no wonder that Russian business network’s annual revenue from hosting cybercriminal activities is estimated at $150 million. With these kinds of numbers, the bad guys are only going to develop more scams.
You know the threats are real when your hometown police force issues a public warning about circulating malware scams. Just a couple months ago, my local RCMP detachment released a warning against a ransomware threat that had already scammed people in our small, rural community.
As most antivirus software only detects, blocks or removes viruses like worms, Trojans or rootkits, you also need to install antimalware products. The days of needing the basics like a good firewall and freeware antivirus products are sadly coming to an end.
When choosing an antimalware product, ensure you select protection that blocks, detects and eliminates malware. Also look for features like support from an extensive database and that it works in conjunction with your antivirus software.
If you are concerned with your PCs performance—you might be a gamer—check to see that the malware product is designed to function properly without taxing your system’s resources.
Lastly, make sure you can get decent support from the manufacturer. You might find one product that looks really inexpensive, but it might be that there is no after-purchase support or the manufacturer sub-contracts the support to unqualified or untrained sources outside of North America.
Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.
Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.