Learn to own your scanning skills in today's lesson.
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Onward and upward, Garrett,

Malware is the name we use for threats like spyware and ransomware you’ve heard about in the news. Spyware is designed to lurk in the background of your workflow, watching for valuable information to steal. Once it has your info, the attacker can do whatever they want with it, like log into your bank account—or worse. 

Ransomware, on the other hand, encrypts and holds your data hostage for ransom. 
In 2015 a single strain of ransomware resulted in $325 million in damages worldwide!
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Avoiding Malware

It’s easy to say “well, I just won’t download any malware then!”, but these types of files have craftier ways of creeping onto your computer, so you won’t notice them:
  • Accidentally opening an email attachment from an untrusted sender
  • Visiting an untrusted website
  • Inserting or connecting an infected usb stick, or drive
  • Installed with an malicious browser extension or part of an install pack
Similar to what you learned with antivirus solutions, the most important piece in using malware scanners is knowing what you’ve got—knowing how to use it, what it looks like, and keeping it updated.

In fact, some antivirus solutions even come bundled with a malware scanner, so if you’re not sure, ask your IT dept where you can find yours. 

Don’t have a malware scanner? Get one!

Our favorite personal malware scanner comes from MalwareBytes, and to equip it yourself, all you need to do is go to Malwarebytes’ homepage, and click “Free Download” to start the installation.

Once you have a malware scanner in place, it can do 2 great things for you: 
  • Scan your computer for any malware that’s already installed.
  • Scan all of your downloads to make sure malware doesn’t sneak onto your computer without your knowledge
Note: Trying to protect an entire organization from malware? Newmind Group has the tools and know-how to rollout solutions that catch malware before it even comes through the door, and we can manage it for your whole team. Contact us if you’re looking for help finding the best way to protect your company.  

Make a habit of scanning

Whether you’re running a personal malware scanner, or your work provides one for you, most scanners are simple enough that anyone can run them with just a few clicks. It’s recommended that you run a scan at least once a week, so go set that calendar reminder now. Scanning will only add a few minutes to your day, and usually scans run in the background of your other tasks, so you can continue to GSD (Get Stuff Done).

Now it’s your turn:

  • Identify your malware scanner, and run a scan for malware (5+ min)
Easy-peasy! With those tasks done, you can pat yourself on the back, because you just completed part 1 of the challenge! Tomorrow we’ll check back with your report card and see how you’re doing.

Talk to you then.

Dan and Garrett
Copyright © 2022 Newmind Group, Inc., All rights reserved.

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