Malware is created to cause damage to computers. If designers do not operate an effective malware defence protocol, they will spread malware to clients’ and suppliers’ computer systems, compromise confidential data and lose professional credibility.
It’s important to stress that malware attacks Apple Macintosh computers as well as PCs. To stop malware, every graphic designer must take responsible action. Malware presents in various forms (sometimes combined), which are summarised below:
Adware: malware that generates pop-ups and displays adverts.
Spyware: malware that monitors user activity and communicates this to a distant user.
Trojan Horse: typically masked as a useful file from legitimate sources. Trojans can delete files, damage files and create a backdoor to allow remote access.
Virus: spread by users sending infected files as email attachments; most are executable files.
Worm: travel without human interaction and have the ability to multiply (until servers and computers are overwhelmed and stop responding). A worm is capable of sending itself to other email addresses and infecting other computers exploiting security holes.
So what must the responsible graphic designer do?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Install antivirus software with the latest updates (and continue to update frequently)
- Install a firewall
- Ensure the operating system has the latest updates
- Run full scans regularly
- Scan all emails received
- Scan all external storage media