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Beware of the malware

Guest post by Brandon Mitchell, a student in Professor Lynn Heinrichs’ information security class.

 What is malware?

We may have all heard the term malware before, but it is not for sure that everybody knows exactly what it is.  Malware is malicious software used to attack or gain access to computer systems without the knowledge of the user.  In minor cases, malware may not have a big effect on one’s computer but it can also do major damage in serious cases such as crashing the entire system! This is scary to think about with all of the information that is held on our tablets, laptops, and even cell phones.

How to know if your system has been infected

There are certain signs that malware may have affected your computer system.  Some of these signs include:

  • your system running unusually slower
  • erratic emails being sent to others from your email address
  • a suddenly disabled security system like your anti-virus software

Ways to protect against malware

In this technology based world today, it is almost impossible to ensure that your computer system will not get infected but here are a few ways to do damage control:

  • update software regularly such as updates to your operating system
  • be wary of any programs you are downloading
  • be wary of links within emails or pop-up windows.

Image  by Flickr user Lee Davy / CC by 2.0

Christina Bonds

Christina Bonds is an Application Specialist in the Web Technology department at Elon University.

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