Sue is a teacher and her class is making a short video which is a send-up of a scene in a popular movie. Sue has the original movie on DVD and wants to use a piece of the audio from the movie in the video. ( Let’s set aside any copyright infringement in Sue’s actions for a moment). Sue searches for some software that will rip the audio and finds what she wants.
Sue starts the installation and when the process asks her if she’d like to install a mywebserach toolbar, she ticks the box. because it seems like something that will be useful. Too late! Malware is hidden in the search bar installation software and Sue’s computer is now infected. It happens as easily as that.
Malware (it’s short for malicious software) is annoying, often damaging software that gets installed without your knowledge. Many free programs comes with added extras and that’s one very common way that your computer can get infected. The add-in software appears to be integrated into the main program but it is a separate step in the process.
Malware has a mind of its own and will do whatever it’s programmed to do. It can remain hidden from view, working away behind the scenes until one day you’ve got a significant problem. Or it can be right in your face. If you’re bombarded with pop-ups unrelated to the website you’re viewing, chances are it’s malware. (Don’t be confused with pop-ups associated with the website, which are becoming increasingly common too. This is just plain old marketing in new shoes).
So next time you’re installing new software that you didn’t buy, stop and think every time you click. Don’t just have your finger on the trigger of your mouse, clicking ‘Next’ to get the installation finished as quickly as you can. Read those boxes and if it’s asking you to install additional options that appear unrelated, untick or click no. Only install the software you want or need to do the task.
More Tips to Avoid Malware
- Avoid opening email or text messages from unknown senders
- Delete message you suspect are spam (don’t open them)
- Never “unsubscribe” from spam email as this just validates your email address.
- Avoid clicking on pop-ups, even to close them. Instead, close pop-ups from the system tray area with a right mouse click.
- Update your operating system regularly
- Increase your browser security settings
- Use antivirus protection and a firewall
- Add antispyware software protection to your security
More helpful tips and information
Avoid Copyright infringement 🙂