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Ransomware, Malware, Phishing… What’s It All About?

Ransomware, Malware, Phishing - What’s It All About?!

Ransomware, Malware, Phishing - What’s It All About?!

Well… we all have heard these terms being batted about in the news or on the Internet but do you actually know what they really mean, what the consequences are, how to spot them and how to avoid them? Didn’t think so, so we have put together a little guide to help you out.


Definition – Malware” is short for “malicious software” – computer programs designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the users consent. Malware is the generic term for all forms of malicious software but traditionally includes viruses, spyware and worms.

How does that affect me – Malware can disable Microsoft Services. Lose your valuable data. Increase repair expenses to your device. The intruder can access your confidential data and potentially access your data when you pay online or your online banking.

How to avoid attack –

•       Avoid downloading and installing anything you don’t understand or trust.

•       Don’t open spam email or attachments.

•       Don’t use USB’s or disks if you are unsure where they came from.

•       Close pop-ups using task manager.

•       Keep your software up to date.

•       Install antimalware software

•       Use a firewall

•       Use a spam filter


Definition – a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. This type of malware forces its victims to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back.

How does that affect me – if your device is backed up regularly you can restore your device to a previous back up and avoid paying the ransom, If you device hasn’t been regularly backed up and you need your data back you can be forced to pay anything between £20 – £600 in order to try and retrieve your data. It is however important to remember that the people with your data are criminals so there is actually no guarantee that when you pay the fine you will get your data back.

How to avoid attack –

•    Backup your files regularly.

•    Bookmark trusted websites and access these websites via bookmarks.

•    Download email attachments only from trusted sources.

•    Keep your children off your device



Definition – Phishing is a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to learn information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person in email, IM or other communication channels.

How does that affect me – Phishing emails can Hijack your usernames and passwords,

Allow the hackers to steal your money and open credit card and bank accounts in your name. Allow them to request new account Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or additional credit cards. Add themselves or an alias that they control as an authorized user so it’s easier to use your credit. Allow them to make purchases or obtain credit. Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illegal purposes.

How to avoid attack –

•       Do not provide personal information to any unsolicited requests for information.

•       Make sure you use secure sites when paying for goods – look for the https.

•       If you suspect you’ve received phishing bait, contact the company directy using contact details from your bank card or statement to double check its legit.

•       Use varied and complex passwords for all your accounts

•       Continually check the accuracy of personal accounts and deal with any discrepancies right away

•       Avoid questionable Web sites

•       Practice safe email protocol:

•       Don’t open messages from unknown senders

•       Immediately delete messages you suspect to be spam

Ultimately each of the above is a more significant danger if the device user isn’t education to spot the signs. Let us help, with our cyber security training you can educate all your users to spot the signs and prevent attacks!

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