I was on pins and needles when I saw a ping from a girl in my Skype. It said, “This is a very nice photo of you on Facebook!” Before I could think about it, my involuntary reflexes clicked on the link that looked a website link but opened a file with an extension of .exe! Damn! It was a steel trap. This incidence reminds me to let others know how to identify the virus and malware in your computers. Mind it, they are different from fraudulent mails and messages that are hoax and sent to dump your money.
You may come across topics like how to remove malware, how to get rid of virus or malware, but seldom authors speak about how to prevent or identify spyware, malware or for that sake a virus. Let’s try to look into this matter.
Spyware, malware or virus –the game of human mentality
What if there is a file containing a very strong virus, but nobody clicks it? The virus or malware does not run automatically. Such programs should have enticing words or graphics so that the readers click on it and they find their way. Trust me –the programmers who write codes for virus or malware are too good in understanding the human behavior. Not only they master the programming language, but they understand human psychology as well!
Before designing malicious content, they work hard on how to make their program clickable. In other words, they find the best way to tempt millions of readers so that they click, and so invite the virus or malware program onto their computer.
Here, I list examples of malware or virus containing messages that ultimately lead to opening suspicious software or program
The Targeted Group
|Praise you||Society conscious people||
|Threaten you||Workaholic people||
|Make you curious||Active on social media and internet||
|Speak about current trend/disaster or pandemic||News loving, self-conscious and health enthusiastic people||
|Tell you about system-updates from banks etc.||Internet banking or online payment users||
|Offer you deals, unreleased payment, prizes and discounts||Online shoppers & general public||
|Offer you download music or movies||Music or movie lovers||
Tips to prevent a malware or virus attack
Check out for these facts and you’ll be able to identify whether the message is for you or not worth a dime.
- Grammatical error or spelling mistake: the makers of malware and such virus programs are least bothered about their language. We often find misspelled word, acronyms or sentences with grammatical errors.
- Origin of an email: if you have received such messages through emails, check for the origin. Such mails come from the free email service providers such as Yahoo!, MSN, Google, etc. If you have won a million dollars from Coca Cola Company, the mail should come from <whatsoever>.cocacola.com and not from <cocacolaprizes.gmail.com>.
- Sender of the message: you must ensure that the message you got on an Instant Messenger or mail is from a known person. Furthermore, if it is from your friend or a known person, you may call them and confirm it before taking action.
- Too much surprising: does the message surprise you a lot? Does it contain something that you never expected? If the answer for these both questions is a big Yes, it is something fishy.
- Asking id/password: no matter what, your bank will never ask you put id or password other than their official website
- Redirection to some strange URL: you can learn where that box will take you on the Internet. Simply hover the cursor and read the URL at the bottom of your screen. It shows the URL that box/link is redirecting. If you found that URL strange or have never heard about, NEVER click, it is malware
- Too much flashing: the malware or suspicious links that offer discount, free download of movies, music, soundtracks and prizes and other lucrative benefits have too much blinking or flash program. You often find such kind of content in website banners. Genuine offers and discounts will not have contrast colors, flashing or blinking banners.
- Close button is actually an image: pop-ups that contain malicious program or files are the whole images that do not have ‘close button’ with a symbol ‘x’. Even if you click on ‘x’, it will open or run malware. You may, again, check whether a ‘x’ close button has some URL by checking it at the bottom of your screen. If it has URL, the best way to close them is from the system tray or taskbar. Right click it and simply close it.
- Fail to pass Google Chrome: if you come across suspected URL or website, do not directly put on the navigation bar of your browser, instead, open Google Chrome, type www.google.com and then in search box, type the whole URL. Google Chrome is likely to identify the malware or virus attacking programs and thus will get you WARNING
These are the few tips that can help you save your system from the attacks of malware and viruses on the internet. Nevertheless, these are not the only ways to protect from the malicious content, but you must use a common sense to identify and avoid them.
The difference between spyware, malware and adware