Protecting yourself against a malware attack starts long before it happens

  • April 23, 2024

Malware, short for “malicious software” lives up to its name. Delivered through phishing emails and even spoofed google links, these programs take control of your computer, giving criminals complete access to all your data, often without you even being aware. 
Different malware functions in different ways. A virus spreads from one trusted device to another, giving criminals access to those devices. Spyware downloads from unsafe sites or attachments, compromising your accounts. And ransomware locks users out of their devices until a ransom is paid. 
The worst part of these attacks is that victims are usually unaware that it’s even happening. That’s why it’s critical to be prepared ahead of time. 

Defeating a malware attack in 5 steps 

  1. Use caution on search engines: Promoted search results marked as an “Ad” can be easily spoofed, resulting in a malware attack. Protect yourself by scrolling down to unsponsored results with legitimate web addresses. 
  2. Keep your devices up-to-date: Downloading the latest software updates (especially security patches) can help protect you from rapidly evolving viruses and other malware. 
  3. Enable Multifactor Authentication (MFA): By enabling MFA, you’re adding an extra layer of protection on top of your existing password, reducing the threat of a data breach by as much as 99%, according to Microsoft. 
  4. Encrypt your data: Installing reliable, trusted encryption software creates a hidden line of defense between you and criminals. So even if they do gain access to your device, your data is scrambled so it’s useless to them. 
  5. Back up your devices: Every defensive plan needs a failsafe. Backing up your data using the cloud or external drives keeps your data safe in the remote possibility that criminals succeed in breaching your devices. Having a fully updated backup can help you recover fast. 

Showing you how to prevent malware attacks is another way Credit Union ONE is helping to protect you, your data and your finances.