Meet Your Computers’ Guardian Angels: Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Protection

NOTE: This is a critical reminder from your friends at FWM, looking out for you!

Nowadays, we do practically everything over email and the web, and while the Internet is an incredible tool and a vast source of information, it is an equally infinite source of nasty threats. Protecting your computer can mean more than protecting the monetary investment of a laptop; it can also offer protection to any data you have pertaining to your business or practice. Imagine the fallout that could occur if a hacker got hold of your information, or your clients’ information, or if it were all wiped out by a virus.

Consider this real-life example that happened recently. A laptop in a law firm's office become infected with a malware that encrypted both their hard-drive and their cloud backup files. The firm was completely unable to access any of their files. How did they fix this? They had to pay a ransom to the hackers who had encrypted their files. There was no other way out. This type of malware is also known as "ransomware" or a "cryptovirus", and you can protect yourself against it (see malware resources, below).

This can happen to anyone. It is important to be vigilant in purchasing, installing, and updating not only your anti-virus software, but also an anti-malware application. Virus protection is no longer adequate by itself. Similarly, free anti-malware applications that urge you to upgrade or pay after installation are notoriously vulnerable to today's hacker technology. If you're not using adequate protection, your data—and your livelihood—is at risk.

Think it could never happen to you? 

  • Over 30 percent of all computers in the U.S. are currently infected with malware.
  • Computers with only anti-virus software and no anti-malware applications are five times more likely to become infected. 
  • Don't think that just because you use an Apple device that you're not at risk! Apple devices are being targeted by hackers as well.
  • Overall, 25 percent of all computers are not protected at all. What about yours?

Anti-virus protection is not enough

Anti-virus applications such as Norton, McAfee, ESET NOD, Avast, and Kaspersky are no longer adequate on their own at protecting your computer by themselves. They are a good first line of defense, as long as you make sure you have fully licensed versions and always keep the definition files updated in these applications. 

Did you catch that? The free versions of these products are not enough! You need to pay for a full license of your chosen anti-virus protection, and you need to keep it updated.

You NEED to protect against malware

Anti-malware applications such as Spybot, Malwarebytes, or Hijack are all excellent programs to specifically prevent and clean malware attacking your system.  The free version of these applications will not give you adequate protection; you must pay for a licensed (Pro) version for each of your computers. 

Why should you pay for this kind of protection when these companies offer free versions? Becasue you need the full versions of the latest & greatest software that each company has to offer ,and you want your computer to update automatically as often as possible. This is not a time to try and pinch pennies or skimp. We pay for professional malware protection for all of our employees' computers, and you should too.

Why does this matter to FWM?

Nearly every issue we have had with email for our clients in the last five years has been caused by malware infections on our clients' computers.  If you have email hosted with us, we can filter out the malware from coming into your email, but that doesn’t protect you from malware on websites. These days 95 percent of all computers become infected via malware from infected websites. You also need to be vigilant about files given to you by clients or ther people in your office; there is no way we can protect you from malware or viruses in these type of files!

Please make sure that all of your office computers, laptops and servers have adequate protection, and please feel free to contact us at 888-886-0939 if you have any questions! 

This is a big problem. Don’t let a hacker ransom your information, use your computer to launch an attack against the government, or stop the flow of all email in your office!

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