So, how does infection with computer viruses or malware occur? There are several standard ways. These are links to malicious sites in emails or social media posts, visiting an infected site (known as drive-by download) and using an infected USB drive on your computer. Vulnerabilities in the operating system and applications allow attackers to install malware on computers. Therefore, to reduce the risk of infection, it is very important to install security updates as soon as they become available.
Cybercriminals often use social engineering techniques to trick you into doing something that threatens your safety or the safety of your company. Phishing messages are one of the most common methods. You receive a seemingly completely legitimate email message in which you are persuaded to download an infected file or visit a malicious website. The goal of hackers is to write a message so that you find it convincing. This can be, for example, a warning about a possible virus infection or a notification from your bank or a message from an old friend.
Sensitive data, such as passwords, are the main target of cybercriminals
In addition to using malware to intercept passwords at the moment they are entered, attackers can also collect passwords from websites and other computers that they have hacked. That’s why it’s so important to use a unique and complex password for each account. It must consist of 15 or more characters, including letters, numbers and special characters. Thus, if cybercriminals manage to hack one account, they will not get access to all your accounts. Unfortunately, most users have very weak passwords: instead of coming up with a hard-to-find combination, they turn to standby passwords like “123456” or “Password123”, which criminals easily pick up. Even control questions cannot always serve as an effective defense, because many people give the same answer to the question “What is your favorite food?”, for example, if you are in the United States, then almost certainly the answer will be “Pizza”.