|Written by Daryl J.|
Protecting A System From Malware
Malware, to begin with, is malicious software whose purpose is to destroy ones system (hardware and / or software), make it hard for you to use your computer (virus), gather information and to send and elsewhere (spyware), or to bombard the use with advertisement (adware). This also includes trojans which is program coding which like the fabled Trojan Horse which conceal malware. Now that we have an understanding what malware is, it is time to show how to protect yourself from it contaminating your computer.
Protecting your computer system from infestation of malware first begins by understanding how a computer is infested to begin with. There are two ways that a computer is infested. Either by an already infest removable media mounted on your computer. The other way is through the Internet. Of the two means of infestation the Internet is the source of the vast majority of malware. With that in mind we will address protecting a computer system from malware infestation from the Internet. Note that there are three methods in which your computer get infested while connected to the Internet:
A) email; B) World Wide Web (www) C) downloading files malware from the Internet from file sharing sites. Our focus shall be preventing infestation through those three ports of attack.
The first line of defense that should be in place is a firewall. A firewall is like a wall between you and the Internet. Nothing can pass through the firewall in either direction unless the firewall has been given permission to do so. With many firewall packages, the firewall can be setup automatically, questioning the operator every time there is a new event. Or it can be setup manually. Selecting beforehand what programs will make it through the firewall and which will not.
The second line of defense against malware infestation on your computer system is to install anti-malware software packages, more commonly called ant-virus software. Today's anti-virus program not only scan and remove malicious software that it finds, but also spyware and adware. Some ant-virus packages can even detect vulnerabilities in the operating systems. A good anti-virus package will catch what malware that introduced to a computer through shared infested software that comes on removable media or has been download from peer-to-peer file sharing sites.
The most important defense against malware is safe operating procedures. Listed below are some good practices to employ:
disable the Internet connection when not actually working online.
keep away from general file sharing sites that do not scan files for malware
never click on hyperlinks, instead cut and paste the URL into the address location box
scan computer system regularly, the more you are on the Internet the more often you should run a scan.
Refrain from visiting unknown sites unless it has been vouched for by a reputable source
Refrain from open e-mail that look suspicious
By employing those safety practices, the chances of malware infestation decreases tremendously.