Malware is one of the biggest threats to technology users today. Otherwise known as malicious software, it has many faces, and its presence only increases each year. Read on to learn the current trends in malware and know what to look for so you can keep your machine safe.
Current malware statistics shows that about 32 percent of computers worldwide are infected with malware. With about 30 percent of households affected by malware, users in the United States sit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. On the high end, nearly 60 percent of Chinese users have malware problems, while on the low end, only about 20 percent of Swedish users have been infected.
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In the U.S., the effects of malware come across in numerous ways. Spam is one of the more common malware trends, with about 24 million households reporting that they receive a level of spam that’s way above normal. When it comes to virus-related computer problems, 16 million U.S. households report having had issues over the past two years. About 8 million U.S. households have had spyware problems in the last six months. When it comes to private data theft, about one million U.S. households report that they have experienced account misuse or theft of funds as a result of malware.
Image via Flickr by Navarr
Trojans, viruses, and unwanted software are the most prevalent kinds of malware. In 2014, an impressive 74,000 new viruses entered the malware scene each day. Not all of these made a significant impact, but together, they caused serious grief for computer users worldwide. To date, the most prolific virus of all time is Conficker. This worm seeks out a Windows bug that allows Conficker to spread itself throughout the PC. At the same time, it installs malware that is notoriously difficult to address. Conficker has infected millions of personal, corporate, and government computers in 200 countries and is the largest known worm to date.
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Developing trends indicate that malware threats are only going to get bigger. Two-factor authentication, which more and more smartphone users depend on for security, will likely see amplified attacks in coming years as it becomes more accepted. Similarly, cloud-based services have grown in recent years and appear ripe for exploitation. Since an increased number of users store sensitive data and media in the cloud, these apps and services may become hackers‘ next target. As the world moves in a more digital direction by the day, new platforms that aren’t yet on the radar will become the next new point of attack.
Infographic via TopTenReviews
As a threat that currently costs U.S. households over $4.5 billion each year, malware is a booming industry. From replacing equipment to recouping stolen funds, malware isn’t cheap. To protect yourself, your technology, and your personal data, consider installing an antivirus program, make sure your security features are always up to date, and keep up on malware news. By attacking malware from all of these angles, you’ll have a fighting chance against malicious software.
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CEO and Founder at Mighty Shouts.