Technology is evolving. So are the methods and people attacking your devices.
Defined, malware is the collective name for a number of malicious software variants, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Malware typically consists of code developed by cyberattackers, designed to cause extensive damage to data and systems or to gain unauthorized access to a network, according to Forcepoint.
Malware can infect through the simplest of ways. Links in emails and downloadable files to name a few.
If you are not partnered with a managed service provider (MSP), your best bet to detecting malware before it wreaks havoc on your business, is to know the early signs:
You might have a virus...if your computer takes especially long to start up. But just like WebMD's medical diagnoses, just because you might have this symptom, doesn't necessarily mean that you have a virus. Your best bet is to check out your full list of symptoms and cross-reference to see if what you have is either a lack of storage space, an old computer, or an actual virus.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
The dreaded blue screen of death. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to start up your device or are in the middle of a project and get stuck on this blue screen with nowhere to go. If you find your computer crashing on the "reg," you might just have yourself a malware infection.
Lack of Storage Space
You didn't even upload all the pictures from your Christmas vacay to Disney World and you're still being told that you have little-to-no storage space left. Malware can corrupt files that are saved on your computer, filling up your storage space with malicious and suspicious files. For example, one day you notice there is a program downloaded onto your computer that you've never even heard of before...well, you might just have a malware infection and the worst part is that your device might not be the only one infected.
Suspicious Modem & Hard Drive Activity
Lucky for you, this "symptom" of a malware infection is a little more obvious. If you can see that your computer is working harder than usual, but you haven't been running very many programs on it, then you should probably do a scan of your computer. Another key indicator could be that your external modem is always lit.
Pop-ups, Websites, Toolbars, & Other Unwanted Programs
Stop. Clicking! on pages, ads, pop-ups or anything else that is not familiar to you. More than likely, these downloads are not completely harmful to your computer but downloading and installing them could infect you with malware. You know those really long terms and conditions pages that nobody ever reads? Well, you probably just accepted all the added downloads, toolbars, and other unwanted "features" to be installed on your computer.
Unsolicited Emails Sent From Your Account
This is the most disguised and tricky sign of an infected device. This can look like an email, disguised as your email, being sent to co-workers or others asking for them to download an infected file or send them money. The problem is, unless they notice it, you won't have an idea of what is going on.
If you aren't already doing so, you and your business should be performing routine malware scans to protect yourself against an infection that could take out your entire herd of computers or even give outsiders access to your confidential information.