What to do if you became a victim of malware?

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Title: What to do if you became a victim of malware?
Category: Educational articles
Published: Thursday, 20 February, 2020

Labs IT Serviss

What to do if you became a victim of malware?

Over the last couple of decades, the Internet from something completely new and innovative has become an ordinary tool, that most of us use frequently and rely on.

The Internet has completely changed the way how we do things, from the way we work to the way we communicate, socialize, shop and study. If we start to think about how much we are addicted to the Internet everyday, it would be impossible to imagine our life without it.

But while the Internet is, to some extent, an indispensable tool, also usage of it makes us vulnerable to malicious threats - malicious software. There are so many different types of malware - Trojan horses, Bots, Adware, Ransomware, Macro viruses, Spyware, Worms and Phishing attacks. Malware attacks and Identity theft can happen to anyone at any time - the more we use the Internet, the more vulnerable we can be to threats.

There are some security measures that Internet users can stick to, in order to reduce the risk of being exposed to a malicious attack. Conversely, if you have already been the victim of an attack, respond to it by following a few common steps.

Malware detected

1. Disconnect from the network

If you are a victim of malware, disconnect your computer from the Internet immediately. If you are connected to the Internet via WiFi, your phone or an Ethernet cable, you should disconnect as soon as possible to prevent the data from being transmitted to the fraudster. Breaking a network connection is the best way to stop an attack on a criminal software immediately.

You can disconnect your Internet connection by physically disconnecting from your router or network connection, or by disconnecting your device by following these steps *:

  1. Click the "Start" menu;
  2. Click “ Settings”;
  3. In the Settings menu, select "Network and Ethernet";
  4. Select your existing connection(s) (WiFi or Ethernet);
  5. Switch off.

* It is also possible to disable it manually on the keyboard or in the toolbar, depends on computer model.

If an attack occurs during business hours, you should immediately contact your IT department or IT support service. It is imperative that your company IT team be aware of this type of attack, because it must stop potential malware from spreading to other devices, as well as the leak of company’s personal data that may be caused by this software.

After this, your IT professionals will be able to take the appropriate steps to eliminate the damage.

2. Use antivirus software

It is good practice to have anti-virus software such as ESET Secure Business (ask us for the best price) that is designed and customized for this type of accident. Antivirus and anti-spyware software is the best tool to protect you from malware.

Run a periodic diagnostic scan with your antivirus program.

Set up regular automated scanning to protect your device.

Note! Being able to detect malicious software that might otherwise go unnoticed, antivirus and anti-spyware software is also capable of not only detecting, but also removing these threats.

In some cases, the software will be able to detect malware but will not be able to destroy it. In this situation, it would be desirable to consult antivirus databases to see, if there is a separate tool, that can be downloaded to prevent the threat.

3. Make a backup

It is a good idea to back up your files and folders regularly. While malware is primarily aimed at stealing information or data, there is a high chance that the files may be lost or destroyed and cannot be restored during the recovery process. However, you can make backups using backup software, another hard drive, or removable media such as flash memory or an external hard drive.

4. Improve your Online Behavior

Your online behavior is directly dependent on habits - create good habits for yourself. Read before clicking on any button or link. "Not Everything is Gold That Shines" - Avoid suspicious looking websites and ads, and remember, if something seems strange or looks too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Reinstall the operating system

Depending on the degree of attack, you may need to reinstall your computer's operating system. Some of the threats are very complex and can be hidden deep within the System using rootkit methods, which means, they may not be noticed by antivirus software.

ESET software can return your system to its last stable state before the infection has occurred. In other situations, the date of infection may not be known, and more sensitive data may be at risk. In this case, the safest option would be to recover the files and reinstall the operating system.

Online fraud

1. Close all accounts

Whenever you find that you have been the victim of an online theft or identity theft, you must first close all accounts affected by these manipulations immediately - close or temporarily block them. If you do it quickly you will be able to secure the accounts before the thief has accessed them. Closing or temporarily blocking accounts can save you a lot of time and nerves, especially when it comes to the bank account from which the cyber criminal made a purchase and this purchase must be canceled- with the proves, that you didn't make this purchase. It is always better to contact your financial institution immediately to discuss what action to take if your account is compromised.

2. Look for signs of identity theft

When it comes to identity theft, it is advisable to be extremely vigilant.

Beware of things that arrive in the mail, such as unauthorized credit cards or other suspicious things.

Review credit card payments and bank statement carefully each month. Check all utility bills and other bills you receive that are sent to your home address and email address. In some cases, different sellers may contact you regarding accounts you have not opened, or debt collectors may contact you for purchases that you have not made.

3. Take additional steps

To protect yourself from online fraud, follow these steps:

  1. Create strong passwords with numbers and symbols, and change them frequently;
  2. Do not use insecure public WiFi networks without additional protection;
  3. Do not overdo surfing on social media platforms.

4. Taking precautions

Security risks online are quite popular and can cause enormous losses during an attack. While we cannot control the behavior of cyber-criminals, we can take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and reduce the risk of being victimized by installing good security, anti-virus software, backing up our data, maintaining vigilance and promoting good online behavior.

Situations involving the security of your data and information can be many and varied, if you have any questions regarding the security of yours and your business, feel free to call and write, we – Labs IT Serviss (Good IT Service) will always help you with any computer/server security related question!

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