The Damaging effects of malware is a major concern for growing businesses.
Say what you will about hackers, they are a smart and diligent group of people,
constantly creating new strategies for scamming or corrupting your computers,
networks, and websites with various types of malware. What is malware? Simply
put, it is malicious software that comes in a variety of forms.
Having malware on your site (even if it doesn’t attack the customers) will turn away
those savvy enough to run security software that detects it; they might not return
after such an experience. You could only lose a single sale or ad impression, or they
could spread the word and you’ll stand to lose a lot more.
If the malware ends up attacking users, the situation could become much worse.
Depending on how much data, money, or privacy customers lose, they may
never come back. Worse than the loss of individual customers is the loss of your
reputation. If you experience just one malware infestation, you could become
blacklisted by security software companies and even blocked by search engines.
You may even be open to legal action, depending on the nature of the attack and
the compliance regulations that apply to your business. At the very least, you can
be sure that disaffected users will tell others to avoid your site. Many businesses
never truly recover from this sort of reputation-destroying event.
Types of Malware
Just as the name implies, phishing is when folks with ill intentions “fish” around for
your confidential information. Usually what happens is you’ll receive an email from
what appears to be a legitimate company that attempts to trick you into handing
out personal information, such as a credit card number or a social security number.
It is often your worst possible nightmare. Unbeknown to you, someone has
managed to steal your personal information, such as a credit card number or social
security number, and then uses this information to obtain credit, merchandise, and
other services, all on your dime. Oftentimes, people don’t realize their identity has
been stolen until the damage is already done.
A computer virus is a self-replicating computer program that is bound and
determined to infect as many computers as possible, destroying every piece of data
it can in its wake. Many viruses are found in executable files. This is exactly why
your computer prompts you with a message notifying you that you are downloading
an executable file and that you are absolutely sure you trust and know the sender.
Some describe pharming as phishing without a lure. How’s that? Well, when a
scammer “phishes” for your personal information, they are usually luring you
or someone else with an email that appears to have been sent from a legitimate
website. It’s an individual attack. With pharming, a large number of users can be
attacked. Multiple users are essentially directed to a fraudulent website (even
when they think it’s a legitimate site).
Everyone has probably received by now at least one email, typically written in all
caps and in broken English, from a wealthy foreigner requesting you help him move
large sums of money through your bank account and offering a significant reward
in the process. Guess what? There is neither a wealthy foreigner nor reward at the
other end of that email wielding a large check with your name on it.
As the name suggests, spyware is software that spies on you. It begins
accumulating bits and pieces of your online habits without you knowing it. Spyware
is typically associated with adware (display advertisements) that can sometimes
be bundled into other software you wish to install on your computer and starts
collecting your personal information without your consent. Some can even change
the configuration of your computer.
You’ve probably heard these terms a million times, but still aren’t exactly what
it is. It’s pretty simple. It’s an email virus hidden with an email attachment. If
it’s opened, then it will search your hard drive for any personal and financial
information it can find, such as social security numbers, PIN numbers, and
checking or savings account information.
Article Provide by Symantec
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