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Security Testing – Measures for Preventing Malware

Security Testing – Measures for Preventing Malware
There are different types of Malware which infect the target system with different intentions like gaining access, stealing data, robbing money, displaying advertisements and so on. The following post will give you more details on the different types of Malware, how they infect target systems and their illegal intentions:
In order to protect our systems with these different types of Malware, we have to take various measures to prevent the Malware from infecting the systems. The following are the various measures/checklist for preventing the presence of Malware in our systems:
  • The operating system in our systems needs to be up to date.
  • Application software installed in our systems needs to be up to date.
  • Browsers and their plug-ins need to be up to date.
  • Update Mobile Applications when they display ‘New Software Update’ pop-ups.
  • Avoid opening strange emails and never download attachments from them.
  • Never install any software blindly by just downloading from the Internet, instead do a round of research around the software over the web to check whether the software you are going to install is from a legitimate source or not.
  • Install anti-virus software.
  • Install anti-malware software.
  • Install anti-spyware software.
  • Use Firewall programs to detect and block the malware from infecting your systems/network.
    • Windows default Firewall program can be used if you don’t have any other third party firewall software
    • Don’t use more than one Firewall programs on the same machine as they conflict with each other (The same applies for anti-virus software).
  • Use Spam filtering software if your e-mail program is not filtering the Spam emails properly.
  • Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date.
  • Scan your system using the installed anti-virus software on a regular basis.
  • Secure your WIFI network by following various security measures.
  • Don’t use the Open WIFI (i.e. non-password & non-encrypted) which is provided by the coffee shops, libraries, and airports for free.
  • Don’t blindly click on any URL provided in the suspicious emails, FTP sites, File sharing services and shortened URLs etc. , instead, scan them using anti-virus software before clicking.
  • Never share your personal information over the Internet, as the hackers can use this information to gain access to your online accounts.
    • Change privacy settings on your social media sites and other platforms to prevent the information from going into the wrong hands.
  • Always backup your important files at multiple places (i.e. System, External Hard-disk, Online drives and different location)
  • Use strong passwords for accessing your online accounts (i.e. Use lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols in your passwords)
  • Never use the same username and password for multiple accounts.
  • Strong passwords should be easy to remember and hard to guess by others.
  • Enable click-to-play plug-ins to stop the malicious ads (i.e. malvertising) from infecting the systems.
    • Malware may infect your system, even though you have not clicked them.
    • click-to-play plug-ins will block these malicious ads from infecting your system.
  • Un-install or don’t use the outdated software like Windows XP OS and older versions of any application.
    • As security updates will be discontinued by their companies for the outdated / older versions of the software.
  • Don’t believe in the fake pop-ups stating that your system is infected with malware and needs to be fixed.
    • Don’t even click ‘x’ option on these pop-ups, instead press ‘Ctrl+Alt+Delete’ keys to close them.
  • Don’t enter details into the URLs which are not secured. Secured sites will have lock icon to the left of the URL.
  • Don’t just close the tab/browser after your task is completed, instead always make sure that you log out from the account before closing the tabs/browsers.
  • Don’t blindly click on the links, image files, attachments shared by your friends/others on different channels like Skype chat, WhatsApp, emails, google chat etc.
    • Before clicking, just confirm with your friends whether they have shared the legitimate files.
    • Sometimes, the malware will send these kinds of links, images on behalf of your friends.
  • Scan the external hards, pen drives shared by others with anti-virus software before using them.

Conclusion: There are various ways in which the Malware (i.e. Malicious programs) can infect your system/network. By following all the above-stated security measures, we can reduce the risk of getting our system infected with malware.

Please leave your questions/comments/feedback below.

Happy Learning 🙂

Arun Motoori (www.QAFox.com)

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