Malware does far more then just slowing down a computer. In fact, a sluggish system may be the least harmful thing the program does. Some of the more severe forms of malware cannot only steal the users identity, but also destroy precious data that’s being stored on the system. Even worse, these viruses are more common than most people think.
In the past, the only way to get a computer virus was through emails. 1 out of every 239 viruses still spread this way, but the cases decreased dramatically after popular email domains added an anti-virus scanner to the file download option. Now, the majority of viruses are spread via websites and the number is increasing rapidly. In 2010, an estimated 286 million viruses installed themselves on computers without the owner knowing. In 2011, this number increased to 403 million. That’s an increase of over 40 percent and the numbers are continuing to rise. Malware isn’t even most common on the websites most people would think, like porn. While about 2.5 percent of all pornography does contain viruses, blogging websites are far worse at nearly 20 percent. Most people visit blogging websites daily, increasing their risk even more.
Fortunately, even though malware has been increasing over the years, there are several tactics that protect the system. The most important is for users to use an up-to-date anti-virus or anti-malware program. Anti-virus programs typically run in the background, alerting users when an unknown program attempts to install itself without permission. An anti-malware program will need to be run manually, but will tell the computer user if there are any harmful programs already on the system. Other ways to prevent against malware include keeping the computer’s operating system and browser up-to-date, only downloading files from trusted websites, and never opening an attachment if it’s from an unknown email sender.
This infographic is presented by Inspired, eLearning. For more information on on-line learning systems, click here .