DIAL A NERD presents FIND YOUR NERD

Bug off! How to protect your PC from malware

Most people use the phrase “computer virus” to describe all malicious software – known as malware. However, computer viruses are just one arm, which self-replicate and move between computers, infecting each as they go along.

As with many biological viruses, malware adapts and changes – and in 2016, Panda Security estimated that an estimated 200 00 new malware samples were being released every day.

Corporate organisations across the globe have reported being hit with another ransomware attack known as "Petya", just weeks after the WannaCry attack crippled organisations as large as the NHS.

Petya - like WannaCry - exploits flaws in Microsoft's operating system to lock users out of their computers, demanding a ransom in the form of bitcoin.

It’s scary stuff – so here are five things that you can do to make sure that you and your data are protected.

Make sure that your operating system is up-to-date

Both Petya and WannaCry exploited flaws in outdated Microsoft software to lock people’s files away in an attempt to force them to pay for access. Although Microsoft responded by issuing urgent patches fixing the issue, many businesses were slow to update and were affected as a result.

The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure you’ve enabled automatic updates on your machine. That way, every time a new security patch is released, you’ll get it.

Invest in a good anti-virus programme

Petya has taken things up a notch from its predecessor, and also attempts to use two Windows administrative tools to gain access to its machine. According to The Guardian, the malware tries one option and if it doesn’t work, tries the next one.

Most anti-virus companies now claim to have added protection against Petya to their systems, but where do you start?

There are a number of great anti-virus programmes on the market, with many offering free basic protection against malware and viruses.

Make sure to update your version of your anti-virus when prompted, and if you want comprehensive protection, it’s worth paying the monthly or annual subscription – particularly if you own a business with a number of users on one network.

Beware of pop-ups and links from unknown origins

It happens – you’re browsing a site and a pop-up or banner catches your eye. Maybe you get an email purporting to be from your bank, or from Sars, telling you to “follow this link to update your information”. Be careful where you click – hover your mouse over the URL before you click to double check that it seems legitimate. If you’re still not sure, rather don’t click.

Don’t download unknown email attachments

This is an easy mistake to make in a business environment. You get an email from someone with an attached file. You don’t know the person, but maybe it’s a juicy tender or a payment notification from one of your clients.

Craft better passwords

While “Password123” or your dog’s name are easy to remember, simple passwords like these are easy for hackers to decrypt. There’s a reason that many sites insist on complex passwords – it makes hackers’ jobs more difficult. With the amount of personal and ifi information we tend to place online, secure passwords are essential!

Need a hand with picking the right anti-virus for your business, or struggling to get rid of a pesky bit of malware? We have Nerds that can help!

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
2009: Bruce Whitfield recalls the financial crisis

2009: Bruce Whitfield recalls the financial crisis

As we look back on 20 years of CapeTalk, The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield recalls the events that shook the financial system across the globe.

2008: Regan Thaw recalls the xenophobic attacks in Dunoon

2008: Regan Thaw recalls the xenophobic attacks in Dunoon

As we celebrate 20 years of CapeTalk, EWN Desk Editor Regan Thaw recounts his experience of the 2008 xenophobic attacks.

How your employees could be compromising your security

How your employees could be compromising your security

According to Dial-a-Nerd, cyber security is one of the biggest threats that businesses face.

Has your business got its dose of fibre?

Has your business got its dose of fibre?

Everywhere you look these days, a local ISP is pitching their new fibre offering.

To outsource or not to outsource, that is the question.

To outsource or not to outsource, that is the question.

It’s undeniable that technology is becoming an increasingly important part of delivering your business's product or service.

Is your head in the Cloud?

Is your head in the Cloud?

The largescale move by individuals and businesses to "the cloud" is not without merit.

Popular articles
LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

AfriForum will prosecute Duduzane Zuma after NPA declined to do so in 2015 following a 2014 accident where a woman died.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Adams about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

A Cape Town man was stabbed to death on Saturday while trying to assist two women who were being mugged on Kloof street.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.