Pop-ups are part of almost every site nowadays, but if you notice that you have started to get more pop up than you are used to, or worse yet you get them while not on the internet, you may have a serious problem.
Additional pop-ups are typically caused by a rogue process or application running on your computer. You may not even know how it got there, or how to get rid of it but it is hogging your computer’s resource and may be leaking sensitive data. The main term for this is malware, and we did a pretty extensive look when a large piece of malware swept the web a few years back. Now you may not have something as intrusive as WannaCry but it still is an issue you need to address immediately.
Malware prevention software like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free can remove most common malware. There is a fantastic product, Webroot, that we use in all of our client environments. It’s very lightweight and does a fantastic job as one of the layers in our multi-layered approach to security. These types of software try to consistently stay ahead of the malware world but are not the best way to stop it. The best solution is prevention.
Prevention is Key
The key to prevention is monitoring and vigilance. The best kind of prevention is knowledge and familiarity. The most common entry of malware into an environment that we’ve seen is via email. Spammers are very clever social engineers and adept at getting unsuspecting individuals
to give up the most sensitive information, or worse, large sums of money. Everyone will tell you to never open attachments or email from unknown sources, but accidents do happen and an email scanning setup before the email arrives in your inbox is key. If you don’t have a good
spam filter or email scanner, here are some things to look out for:
1. If you get an email asking you to verify your information, unless you initiated this process minutes before from a known account that you have, delete immediately. This is a tell-tale sign of spam, even if it looks legit.
2. Never, ever give personal information like bank accounts, social security numbers etc. to anyone that asks for it in an email. Even if it looks like it is from someone you work closely with. If you get a request in an email from someone you know to provide this kind of information, then call that person and verify it.
3. Remember, even though the prince of Egypt probably has a lot of money, he’s not going to share it with you if you give him your bank account. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.