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How To Prevent Malware Attacks In The Future?

Malware (short for malicious software) refers to those apps that are primarily designed with the intent of stealing or damaging your device and data. Malware infection on your device can be likened to your device being ill — you will immediately know that something is not right. Your device may suddenly start acting sluggish, freeze occasionally, or throw up some junk on your screen. Or you may find the browser displaying random websites with suspicious-looking URLs in the address bar. Ads may pop up at random times and you may find yourself being subscribed to random paid services without your knowledge and/or intervention.

The most common types of malware that can affect your device are Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware, and many more.

Viruses are malicious programs that replicate by attaching to another program. However, most modern phones such as Android and iPhone cannot technically have viruses because each application on Android runs within its own ‘sandbox’, that is, it cannot exchange any data with other apps unless explicitly given permissions (or privileges) to do so.

Spyware and Trojans are the most common forms of malware that affect Android users. Malware of both these kinds usually installs hidden services that are able to collect and send your personal data to third parties without your consent.

Ransomware is a kind of application that locks the user out of the device, that is, holds them ransom. In some cases, it may take over your device and encrypt it further. The users will remain locked out until payment is made to some anonymous cryptocurrency account, after which a decrypting mechanism/key may be provided to unlock the device.

Tips for Malware Prevention - The easiest way to prevent malware attacks is to install a good antivirus/antimalware app that will do the job for you, but we strongly recommend that you also comprehensively review your browsing habits. Are you the kind of person who believes that you are actually the millionth visitor to a website? Are you the kind of person who thinks random websites legitimately give away expensive gadgets for cheap, or even free? Are you the kind of person who gladly shares their contact details with all websites that ask for them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your troubles go way beyond. You desperately need what is called “Basic Awareness while Browsing the Internet”.

For those of you in a hurry, here’s the short version of it:

  • If it makes you think Wow! I am so lucky! or Did I participate in that? or something along those lines, it is almost definitely a scam. Do NOT fall for it.

  • As a rule of thumb, do NOT share your mobile number or your email address with anyone. If you absolutely must, maintain a separate number and email address to give out in such situations.

  • If the application being installed is named differently from what you clicked, requires elevated, administrator privileges, or requires you to install something unrelated first, ABORT the installation right away. The cardinal rule to prevent malware infections (which is also applicable to browsing the internet, in general) can be boiled down to three simple words:

“Trust, But Verify”!

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