There’s a relatively new joke circulating the Internet that a technologically inept person will have a slew of toolbars on their browser, yet have no idea why his or her computer runs so slowly. While some may snicker at the thought of a bar-laden browser window, many people do find such tools to be helpful. Of course there are certain ones that will infect a computer, but for the most part they’re relatively innocuous. However, it’s recently come to public attention that long-trusted applications are now considered malware and can seriously muck up a person’s device.
Where least expected
Despite best efforts, sometimes tech giants can promote a product that leads to an unfortunate circumstance. According to InfoQ, Microsoft recently announced that the some older versions of the Ask Toolbar will inadvertently lead to malware on a given device. While newer editions of the program, bundled in with the Java installer, are safe and good to go, the older ones could certainly cause some unfortunate activity on the computer.
Unfortunately, many people who do have the program installed on their computers won’t know that there are security problems with it. Hopefully this doesn’t cause too many issues for those who rely on the older versions of the Ask Toolbar, though the newest Java update will likely mitigate the issue on its own.
Here, there, everywhere
The Ask Toolbar is not the only place where malware comes onto a computer in a sneaky manner. According to Info Security Magazine, websites such as The New York Times and YouTube have been found to have malicious advertising that’s easily clicked or accidentally clicked. While the kind of malware varies, it’s often a banking Trojan and, on some occasions, ransomware.
Because these issues are prevalent and can infect a computer belonging to a technologically savvy person, it’s the best practice to have a backup solution in place so you can wipe your computer and start over with little to no inconvenience to your life. These solutions range in scalability, cost and source, so there’s a backup system that fits your budget and needs. As long as you are astute in your backup duties, you can come back from a malware attack much faster than a backup-less counterpart.