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Chance are that your computer have been infected with virus or maleware at some point in your life. Almost 90% of all computers with access to the intenet have at some point been a victim of a virus or malware program. Even with the best anti virus software and updated operation system it is still possible to get your computer infected. So we are now going to take a look at how you can minimize the risk of getting your computer ruined by such unwanted software. But first a little store about how bad it can go. Karnevalsshoppen.dk, an online webshop selling a product called Kostumer, which is a special type of costumes was infected with malware the other month. Because of that, every time something tried to add a piece of Kostumer to their shopping card, they got redirect to a Russian site, that was advertising for small blue pills aimed at middle aged men. It took them 2 days before they noticed problem, and it then took karnevalsshoppen another day to fix problem completely without having to resort to an old backup. This little episode costed them quite a lot of money, and the reason it happened, was that they haven’t updated their CMS system for 2 months. Everything else was setup properly with anti malware software, udklædning, Apache optimizations and everything. So what can you do to avoid this happending to your website or your computer? First let’s take a look at the difference between malware and virus.
Malware doesn’t normally ruin anything on your computer. It’s often installed as an addon program when you install something else. The most common way to get malware is installing free software from the internet. Most of the time, there’s a small box in the installation program, you manually needs to uncheck to avoid getting those additional programs installed. Other times, it’s just a small notice in the Terms and Conditions saying that by installing this program, you also accept that another program is installed. While malware normally don’t mess up your computer or delete anything, it can be really annoying. Sometimes it redirects you to certain websites, other times it displays annoying popups with advertising at random times. Malware is often easy enough to uninstall, often you simple open the control center and choose uninstall programs, locate the programs you don’t recognise and uninstall them.
Virus can be a lot harder to detected and to get rid of. There are a lot of different viruses, some more harmful than others. For example one virus may monitor your keystrokes and use this information to steal your online passwords. Others simple mess up your computer forcing you to format and reinstall everything from scratch.
The best way to avoid getting your computer infected with such unwanted software and in worst case, end up like karnevalsshoppen did, is to always keep every piece of software installed on your webserver or computer updated. Another good idea is to buy a professionel anti virus sofware such as F-secure or Nod32. But most of the time, it’s installed due user errors. So never install any software on your computer, unless you know for certain what it is. And never never click on links on facebook and emails if you don’t know the URL. Sometimes an url is masked as something else. You may get an email that seems to be from your bank with an url to a page on your banks website. But if you hover the mouse over the link, you can see in the toolbar at the bottom of the window a completely different adresse. Never ever click on those types of links.