Authored by a Symantec employee
Have you ever run your Internet security software only to find out that there’s malware on your computer? How did it get there? When you’re running a full Internet security suite, it can be very frustrating to find out that, despite your best efforts, there’s malware on your computer anyway. The fight against malware is a complicated arms race of sorts. Here’s how it works.
The Four Components of the Malware Arms Race
There are three main players in the malware arms race:
The malware coders are, unfortunately, generally the winners of the arms race. They write malicious code exploiting existing vulnerabilities in software. Why? Sometimes for fun, sometimes for profit, but always in ways that are harmful to you and your online experience.
Internet Security Companies:
Internet security companies generally come in behind the malware codes in the arms race. Why? Because Internet security companies are plugging holes in the dam. To a certain extent their codes can anticipate what the malware of the future might look like, but for the most
General Software Companies:
Internet security companies aren’t the only ones trying to prevent malware. No one wants their programs to
Where Did Your Malware Come From?
The biggest reason people get malware on their computer is
Most malware is built around the security flaws in your operating system or applications that you’re using. Similarly, most updates you get for your operating system and apps are designed to plug up holes in the security that they found. Sometimes the software developers catch these flaws before any real damage can be done. The problem is, that if you’re not updating your security software, you’re not helping the developer to help you.
Internet security software companies are at the forefront of protecting against security flaws and malware. They can help you to detect malware that got on your computer because of a security exploit. However, the Internet security suite
Finally, even the best Internet security suite can’t protect you from infections that you initiate. For example, you might go to a website even after you’ve been warned that it contains malicious code. Or you might download an attachment from a spam email. Even clicking on the wrong link in an email can get malware off of the Internet and onto your computer. Put simply, there’s a level of common-sense due diligence every person has to do when they’re using the Internet.
How To Protect Yourself From Malware
To summarize, it’s important to protect yourself from malware, but it’s not as hard as you think:
- Always update your applications. Most importantly, update your operating system and your Internet security suite. To keep you safe, they need the most up-to-date information.
- Remember that malware often exploits existing security flaws. So even if it’s not your Internet security suite or operating system, it’s important to keep your software up to date.
- Don’t visit unsafe websites. Most Internet security suites include a component alerting you that the site you’re about to visit is unsafe. If not, use Norton Safe Web to see if you’re going to a website known for distributing malware.
- Don’t download attachments or click on links in unfamiliar emails.
If you can do those four things, you’re going to be one of the harder targets on the Internet when it comes to all kinds of malware.
Disclaimers and references:
Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.
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