Your computer, but also your smartphone, your TV or even your networked lawnmower – all of these devices can be infected. Protecting your devices against viruses and malware is your responsibility. The following explanations will help you better understand the whole thing and take appropriate actions.
What is malware?
They are also called malware. These are programs designed to penetrate or damage an IT system (without the owner’s consent, of course).
The large group of malware includes, for example trojan horses, viruses, worms or ransomware. Even though they each bring about different effects, they install themselves on your networked devices by exploiting the same vulnerabilities.
These vulnerabilities are related either to vulnerable points in certain programs or to your own online behavior. In addition, a new, locally targeted form of attack takes advantage of the lack of security in your wifi network to infect devices.
Who is behind these attacks?
After the question "What is a malware?" is usually followed by "who creates malware and why?". Ten or twenty years ago, in movies, we saw teenagers who were primarily trying to have a good time.
Back then it might have been. But today malware is created by professional criminals. They have sophisticated tactics and make a real business out of this.
Certain programs – so called ransomware – block your IT data and make your computer unusable. In return for restoring normal operation, they demand a few hundred euros from you and give you a few hours to accept the offer. The amount is just small enough for you to accept spontaneously. It can be used to round up a nice haul.
There is a higher risk when stealing bank data or passwords. IT pirates can then drain your account or sell this information on the black market, where they can fetch a good price.
Is antivirus software necessary?
Antivirus programs seem to be out of fashion for a few years now. Recent articles claim they don’t protect or don’t protect well enough in 2020.
The manufacturers of software (Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, etc.) and web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc.) have made enormous progress in terms of security and perform updates much more frequently.
As a result, many users wrongly believe the features built into their operating systems and cautious online behavior protect them against digital threats.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. A good antivirus program works on several levels: It scans every new program you download, it regularly analyzes your computer, and it may be able to detect previously unknown malware based on technical characteristics (such as. B. the attempt to "hide" on your computer).
After all, it’s not just because you’re already wearing a T-shirt that a sweater to protect you from the cold is unnecessary. Several layers of protection are always better.
Follow these recommendations on a day-to-day basis
Even with the best antivirus program, there is still a risk of catching malware. Therefore, pay attention to some recommended behaviors: