Malware and Prevention Methods

What is Malware?

Malware refers to malicious software designed with the intent to disrupt the functionality of computers and mobile devices using programs such as Trojan horses, ransomware, keyloggers, and screen recorders. Malicious software is used to collect critical information, gain access to private systems, and acquire personal identity and password information.

How does Malware Infect Your Device?

Malware can infect a device through various means such as opening links shared via SMS, email, WhatsApp, or social media that encourage the user to click on them by promising various gains. Additionally, malware can enter a device when users visit fake websites, download counterfeit applications, connect risky external storage devices, or through advertising software.

Indicators of Malware on a Device

Devices infected with malware may exhibit the following signs:

  • Sluggish performance, freezing, overheating, or rapid battery depletion.
  • Involuntary closures of application tabs on the device.
  • Downloaded applications making permission requests unrelated to their intended purpose.
  • SMS or email notifications not appearing in the inbox or closing unexpectedly.
  • Inability to receive SMS or view incoming messages.

What Can be Done with Malware?

Malware, once it infects a system, can collect information over an extended period, leading to the compromise of personal and identity data stored on the device, as well as the passwords used in banking applications, falling into the hands of cybercriminals. It may enable fraudsters to respond to SMS information containing mobile verification codes and one-time passwords sent by the bank during transaction authentication, or allow them to answer calls received on the mobile phone or even initiate calls on behalf of the victim.

Methods for Protecting Against Malware

  • Avoid opening SMS messages, social media ads, messages from instant messaging applications, and email messages that promise money or gifts, and refrain from clicking on related links.
  • Do not install new applications that you are not sure about their security.
  • Always use official app stores when downloading applications to your mobile device.
  • Regularly update your antivirus program.
  • Ensure that the option to install applications from unknown sources is disabled on your mobile device.
  • Check the permissions requested by the applications you install on your mobile device, especially those from unknown sources or those requesting administrative permission (admin).
  • Keep the operating system of your mobile devices up to date.
  • Access your online banking portals by typing the address directly into the browser rather than using search engines.
  • Enter the address as in the address bar to access your online banking.
  • Adjust the security settings of internet and mobile banking according to your needs and usage habits.
  • Avoid conducting internet banking transactions on shared computers, public internet cafes, or others' devices.

Actions to Take in the Event of Exposure to Malware

  • Disable internet access on your mobile device and remove the SIM card.
  • Contact an authorized service to neutralize the impact of the malicious software or, after backing up your device, reset it to factory settings or format the device to eliminate the malware.
  • Immediately change passwords for accounts logged into on the phone (banking, e-government, email, social media, etc.) from a secure device.
  • Contact us.

Baris Guzelsoy ● 23 Apr '23