Our lives are inextricably linked with our computers, tablets and smartphones. In fact, it is quite remarkable how they have become such an integral part of our lives in such a short time. It is also a fact that the security of our computers and gadgets is an overriding concern of our times, what with so much of our sensitive personal information stored on them. Data security is an even bigger concern in the business arena, where the rise in hacking attacks has made malware removal and digital security a regular topic of conversation.
If you think your website is infected, Website Security Express can start malware removal in as little as 30 minutes.
The fact is, information and cyber insecurity is the biggest risk facing Indian companies, according to the India Risk Survey 2017 report.
If you think that your website has been infected by malware, you would certainly want the situation rectified as soon as possible. Read on to learn what to do.
Here’s how to respond to malware in 3 steps
If your website’s loading slowly or showing unusual traffic levels (too high or too low), you could have malware. Here’s what to do.
Check your antivirus programs.
Isolate the infected device.
Get professional help.
Before we delve into the steps you can take to deal with your problem, let’s discuss how rampant malware is, along with the implications.
Understanding malware and its dangers
Malware is an abbreviation for malicious software. It is used by hackers to infiltrate computer networks and steal valuable information.
Malware includes worms, viruses, Trojan horses and many others. Each is capable of wreaking havoc on your computer or gadget and the data contained in them. In the case of a business, this could include your customers’ private data such as passwords and banking details.
Once the malware creates an entry point into a website, hackers can carry out grievous online crimes like data theft and ransom demands.
Early this year, an Android malware program called Android.banker.A9480 successfully infiltrated more than 232 Indian banking and cryptocurrency apps. By obtaining access to the login details of users, hackers hoped to empty victims’ bank accounts.
The consequences of hackers gaining access to your computer’s data can be catastrophic. For instance, they can:
- Steal your personal photographs.
- Obliterate vital information like tax records.
- Make away with your bank and credit card details, which are then sold on the darknet.
For a business that loses control of customer data, the consequences are even greater: Public embarrassment, damage to its business reputation — even legal headaches.
In short, malware can bring your life (and your business) to a grinding stop.
How to respond to a malware attack
What should you do if you think your computer, gadget or website has been subject to a malware attack? As in any crisis, the first thing to do is not panic and take stock of the situation.
1. Check your antivirus programs
The very first concrete step that you can take is to check if the antivirus and antispyware programs installed on your computer or device are up-to-date. If not, update them. Try running a scan to see if the malware can be identified and removed.
2. Isolate the infected device
If that does not work, disconnect and isolate the device if it is part of a network. In the case of a computer, unplug the network cable and disable all wireless connections. Needless to say, don’t access the internet from the infected device, particularly with regard to carrying out sensitive banking and credit card transactions. At this stage, you’re trying to keep the malware from spreading.
3. Get professional help
It is now time to ask for malware removal help. The process involves not only eliminating the malware, but also restoring the infected device to its original state.
Editor’s note: Call the security experts at GoDaddy at 040-67607627 for help day or night. You can get help in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu or Marathi.
Protect yourself from future attacks
The old adage, to be forewarned is to be forearmed, is absolutely apt in dealing with malware threats. If you haven’t yet experienced a malware attack, it’s a good idea to do a regular security audit on your website. You just need to take the following simple steps:
- Make sure your scripts and applications are up-to-date. Always act on update notifications immediately.
- Choose strong passwords that are less likely to be cracked.
- Delete any user accounts that you are no longer using.
- If you need remote access to your website, use a Secure Socket Shell for added security.
- Run security scans daily. A malware scanner can automate this so you don’t have to remember to do it.
As mentioned, GoDaddy’s Website Security is a malware scanner that automatically checks your website daily, removing any malware it finds. The Express and Deluxe plans include a Web Application Firewall that blocks malware from ever reaching your website.
Malware removal explained
When it comes to malware, you can’t be too careful, considering what is at stake. Here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Be wary of malicious emails. Make every effort to determine an email’s authenticity before opening it or clicking on attachments.
- Be equally wary of text messages purporting to be from your bank. Never send a confirmation of your personal data by text.
- Make it a point to religiously update your browser, operating system and plugins, as these often include patches for all the latest security vulnerabilities.
- Log out of websites after you are through, even those that don’t hold financial data.
Read “10 tips on how to secure a website” for more security best practices.
Malware might be an ever-present threat, but it can be dealt with quite effectively as this article shows. The key is to understand the malware threat and devise a strategy for dealing with it. If you’ve already been attacked, you need to respond quickly and take steps to protect yourself from future attacks. And don’t hesitate to seek professional malware removal help from experts like GoDaddy — the consequences of inaction are simply too serious.