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How to Safeguard Your Computer Against Malicious Software?

If you wanted to list down the number of  malicious softwares just 10 years ago, it would have around 8-10 ,  or15 at the most. However, the number has grown to such an extent  today that you need a whole book to cover all the details of the malicious software groups.  Generally speaking, malicious software is something that has the potential to harm your computer (hardware and software components), pose a threat to your online security and compromise your online privacy. Hacking has escalated to such heights today that any software can be converted into malicious software with the addition of a few lines of code. So, it is really important that you are on guard against such threats.

Anti Virus Software Will Not Guarantee 100% Protection

One of the major mistakes people do while protecting themselves online is that after installing anti-virus or any other associated software from a reputed company, they will feel that they have done everything possible to protect themselves and let their guard down. This is wrong as viruses, spyware, malware, etc are being developed every minute and it is not guaranteed that your anti-virus can protect your against all of these software.

Keep a keen eye on all your online activities. It is often the smallest of signs that point you to the threats which can cause a lot of damage. You might have software installed to  stop cookies/tracking online through your browser. However, what if there is a software that is recording all your online activities and relaying it through the internet to the miscreant who planted that software in your computer? This software is called as spyware and it is one of the most common online security threats netizens are facing.

Identifying Signs of an Attack

One of the most common signs of a computer virus is slowing down of your computer. Since malicious software is also nothing but a piece of software, which will depend on your processor for getting executed, it will take up a major chunk of your processor capacity and will slow down the other processes. People will try to find other reasons as to why the computer has slowed down when a virus protection program from one of the reputed vendors is installed. However, this might happen even if there is virus protection software.

Another sign of malicious software’s existence on your computer is unusual activity on your social media profile. In Twitter, say you have a set of followers who you have not approved. Your Facebook account will get authorized for a group of apps that you did not approve. Some posts start appearing on your wall, even though  you did not post them. The problem in this is that if you are on these sites for a period of time, the volume of activity is so much that you lose track of the ones you authorized and the ones you have not. To detect and remove malicious activity, you will have to be really careful when browsing the net, and when downloading a third-party application.

If Under Attack

The first thing you must do even if you get suspicious that your computer might be infected is to run a full system scan. Include every network drive and removable drive including the hidden folders to your scan. When your virus protection software scans your computer on schedule, it will ignore some sectors to make the scan quick. If anything is detected, neutralize the threats. If not possible back up your hard drive and format it completely. Change passwords of your email accounts and social media accounts, just to be on the safer side of things.

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