What Is Malware

Up Early Designs

What is malware? Good question. First, it’s a simple play on words. Malicious and software. Combine them and you get malware. What’s less simple is preventing your site from getting it. And if you do get it, removing it.

So what exactly is malware? It’s software designed to either gain access or damage your website. For the purpose of gaining access, it’s not to simply read blog posts that require an account. Rather, it’s often a means of using your site to distribute spam email. Or access sensitive data and more.

Types Of Malware

There are a few main categories of malware. First there is adware, designed to do exactly what it sounds like, the use of ads for profit purposes. Forced advertising if you will.

Second there is spyware, the more common term for malware. Spyware is a means of stealing sensitive information. Whether it be credit card, social security or other personal information. For the purposes of theft including identify theft.

The third primary category is ransomware. A means of extorting money. Hackers essentially take over your machine and demand a ransom to release your machine, website, etc back to you. And if they “price” it right, it’s often cheaper to pay versus another means of resolution

What Can I Do

So how you prevent a malware attack? Unfortunately, there is nothing 100% in this regards. Partly because there are constant threats evolving. As soon as software patches are released, other applications are created, resulting in more software patches. It’s a cat and mouse type of game.

The biggest opportunity though to reduce your susceptibility is minimizing that time between the release of a software patch and the creation of a new malware. How? By updating all of your site files as soon as they are released. Problem with that though often is who checks their site daily? Almost no one.

The other opportunity to increase your security is limit or not share at all, your login credentials. Or use a TSL / SSL type of product (Website Security) to reduce the chances of your information being seen while logging in.

We Can Help

Up Early is launching  a new product where we monitor your website regularly. We’ll perform a number of checks, updates and more.

If we find something we’ll either resolve or bring it to your attention for immediate action.

Whether you work with us (please contact us to learn more) or on your own, there is one thing that is certain. Actually two. First, you need to update and monitor your site regularly. Like daily.

And second? No matter how great your efforts, how sound your plan, there is never a full, bulletproof means of securing your site. But at least through some effort, you can greatly reduce your probability of being attacked. And having to ask, what is malware.