The next-generation systems are one step ahead of hackers and offer you built-in antivirus solutions. However, it is naive to think that hackers don’t know how to bypass security systems and steal your data to mess up with your PC.
Cybersecurity 101 states that everything is better when you have a high-quality software that eases your user experience and keeps your data safe. Surely, some things are impossible to spot with a bare eye; therefore, you need additional tools. While you read some resources like TotalAV review and investigate the antivirus market, here are some data and tips to stay safe online.
What is Malware?
Malware includes malicious programs and codes that aim to steal the data or harm the system. Malware can be distributed via various sources, and aims to harm various devices and systems, or partially or fully control your data. You may receive a malicious link via your email or through an infected website; regardless of the method, your computer and data integrity will be jeopardized.
Malware is also potentially dangerous for computer networks, and hacking attempts can be made through an unsafe WiFi connection.
How to Recognize a Malware Infection?
Although one may argue that some threats like phishing do not leave a visible impact on your system, you can easily prevent the malware spread by recognizing these signs:
- Your system constantly crashes, freezes, or turns to BSOD if you have a Windows system.
- Your computer significantly slows down, and it takes minutes to perform the simplest command or task.
- Your Internet activity log has increased dramatically without any change in your Internet usage patterns.
- You don’t remember installing suspicious toolbars, extensions, or plugins in your browser.
- You cannot update your system or antivirus without facing constant errors.
- Significant loss of disk space and abnormal hardware activity (like your computer or laptop is overheating).
- Pop-ups that flood every program.
- Even if there are no visible signs of malware infiltrating your system, you still may be under attack.
- According to the 2020 Malwarebytes report, the situation with malware is changing and it is not positive. Threat sophistication increased in 2019, with predominant usage of exploits, credential-stealing tools, and mass-infection of a target. Therefore, while there might be less new malware produced, its detection and patterns are harder to spot.
- Adware became more aggressive in targeting consumers and businesses endpoints both on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. On the contrary, ransomware detections decreased from 2018, but it is still one of the prevalent threats out there.
- Hackers are constantly working on new malware and investigating platforms’ vulnerabilities. In such a manner, hackers may develop new exploits for the most popular browsers and other software relevant for targeting. In equal measures, all OS are targeted, with an increased amount of Mac threats developed for the past year.
- Businesses are more targeted than individual users.
What is an Antivirus, and How Does it Work?
Antivirus software is designed to prevent malware from installing itself on your system and notifies you whether the files you download or websites you visit are safe. The main use of Antivirus is it will alert you whether you download legit software, block external attacks from malicious websites, and analyze the suspicious behavior of already installed programs. Various AV-solutions use different scanning methods, but AV brands try to create a timely and relevant response for the latest malware.
Many AV products come in suites and include additional features like VPN, firewall, password manager, and other extensions that ease your time using the Internet. It is better to have all the necessary features in one package to avoid unwanted outcomes.
Do I Really Need AV-solution?
Malwarebytes report shows that regardless of the OS you use, you still may be a target of hackers. Although businesses are more likely to suffer from serious malware attacks, consumers are still exposed to daily threats. You don’t want to give hackers even a chance to steal from you.
Of course, it is always up to the user whether they should buy a product or use a free trial version. There are plenty of resources that compare and contrast products and suggest the best option for your PC or laptop. Antivirus is a must-have nowadays, and it helps keep your hardware and OS safe and sound and protects your data and traffic.