Receive an email It is something that happens every day on our computer or mobile. The problem arises when these emails contain malicious code that can infect a computer very easily and quickly.
To avoid this, it is necessary to know which are the most common malware and how you should protect yourself from them. Also, you will need to know how to detect if a message contains this type of program.
You will find this information in the different sections of this post. We will show you a complete guide to detecting an infected message and also what are the best methods to protect yourself from malicious emails.
What are the most common malware and malicious programs in emails?
First of all it is important to define what is malware and then understand how these malicious software work. Malware is a set of programs intentionally created to damage the computers of different users. In this way they seek to obtain a benefit for the designer of the software codes.
The functioning of these programs vary according to their development, but in general, They need the help of the user to install themselves on a computer to fulfill their main objective. The propagation of the same can be done by many methods, the most common being sending by email.
This process (some choose the user at random and others specifically choose their victims) It consists of sending an email to anyone with an attractive message that contains a link that must open it. This will install, without the person knowing, a file that allows the malware to be hosted. After that, once it is installed, the malicious program begins to carry out its work, being able to steal information, spy on all keyboard movements and break operating system codes, among other things.
Due to this, we will show you below which are the most common malware and malicious programs that you can find in emails:
- Virus: this type of file is one of the most dangerous. They are characterized by entering the device without the user’s consent and making their detection very difficult. Its activity varies according to the objective that the hacker has set in its development. It can take complete control of the device, some programs, damage data files and delete previously installed applications.
- Trojans: It is named for the Trojan Horse from Greek mythology. Its function is to open a back door that allows the connection of the computer with that of the hacker, in this way the code is hidden within a file, which seems harmless, so that it is downloaded and at the same time cannot be detected by the programs antivirus.
- Spywares: They are spyware and are responsible for collecting any type of activity carried out by the user on the device. Thanks to these codes you can know the tastes that the person has, the behavior on the network and also the most frequent contacts.
- Adwares: These software are also responsible for monitoring user activities, but are more related to business advertising activities. They are used to collect information from the infected computer, or mobile, and send it to third parties so that they can then advertise according to the tastes found on the infected computer.
- Keylogger: Like the last two, these programs are also dedicated to spying on the user’s movements. But they differ because they detect information that is related to the keystrokes. In this way, it is possible to obtain access codes to different platforms, thanks to the keys that the person pressed to enter the different portals.
- Worms: Computer worms are one of the most difficult programs to eliminate and be detected, since they reproduce automatically and spread very quickly through emails. Therefore, the level of infection they have is very high and their objective is to obtain information from the infected computers and be a door for other malware.
- Malvertising: this is one of the least ethical cases that exist in computing. This is because they obtain user information by entering thanks to some vulnerability that the person’s operating system has. To carry out this task they take advantage of their quality of advertising advertisers that appear in the cookies and that are accepted by the same person.
- Ransomware: You can find this type of program in your email that is dedicated to hijacking information from your computer and releasing it through a payment of a reward established by the software developer.
- Stealer: It is one of the most common malicious programs out there, as it steals information and passwords saved on your computer. This data is then sent to people who benefit from this situation.
- Decoy: for this program you need to be very attentive to prevent it from being installed on your computer. The function of these malware is to look like the graphical interface of a program that you have installed and then ask you for your password and username to enter. This data is stolen to be used on your own.
- Rogueware: They are malware that can enter your computer through email disguised as beneficial programs for your computer. The most common is to find fake firewalls and antivirus.
Learn how to detect if an email message contains malware
We will show you below the step by step you must do to detect if a message you have received by email contains a malicious program:
Install an efficient antivirus
The first thing you should do is download an antivirus that can automatically detect the presence of threats in any program or action you carry out on your device. In this way every time you try to open a strange document in an email this program will observe a potential risk.
There is a large number of antivirus that you can choose on the Internet, you will find free user licenses and other paid ones. In addition, you will have different extra tools that will allow you to clean your computer in the best way. You must bear in mind that when choosing one it is convenient that it offers you an extension for your browser, so that every time you open the email, the antivirus works faster.
Open the email
When you have installed the antivirus on your computer, you will be sure that any false step you take will be warned by this program. This means that, when you receive an email you will have to open it and read it in detail. Next, you will have to analyze each item you see to identify possible scams or counterfeits that may contain and affect your privacy. The most common is to find links or links that redirect you to a site or that run a download of an unknown program.
One of the most important characteristics of emails that try to infect a device is the subject matter and the writing mode they contain. Thus, You should be suspicious if you receive an email from a known contact, or not, and it is not related to the name of the file or the link of the subject. The formality of the writing will be another aspect that will reveal the falsity of an infected email.
Use the internal tools of your email provider
The most trusted and well-known email providers have built-in functions to scan files or links before opening them. This works alongside your antivirus that you just downloaded, so it is another security measure that you should use.
This means that, once you receive an email with a file or link attached, you must open the email and, without selecting the file or link that was sent to you, you are going to have to place the pointer over that document. After a few seconds you will see a message from the email program saying Scanning for Viruses. In case it does not contain any malicious information or code, the software will allow you to open and download the document. If this doesn’t happen, it will warn you of a potential threat.
Analyze the attached document
You must not forget that most malicious code hide behind an executable file, that is, with extension .exe. For this reason, if Google gmail or your email provider did not detect the presence of a threat and has an executable format, It will be convenient that you analyze it through the antivirus.
Verify that you are not facing a case of phishing
The phishing is identity theft in which a graphical interface is created to make the victim believe that the content of the email belongs to a trusted company. If for any reason, you have performed the previous steps and the antivirus did not detect any threats, does not imply that you are exempt from receiving malicious code.
You must take into account what possibility you have of a company contacting you and for what reason it would do so. If you consider this unlikely, it is very possible that you are facing a phishing case in which you will be the victim of an attack by a hacker who may include information in a future email with malware that you receive.
The best ways to protect yourself from malicious emails
The steps that we show you in the previous paragraphs they will help you detect if a message contains any type of malware. But to this it is necessary to accompany it with methods that help you protect your private information that can be attacked through emails.
Because of this we will kill you, we will show you below the best methods you should use to protect yourself from emails with malicious code:
Don’t open executable files
Just as we told you, executable files have an .exe extension which means that if you click on it, the installation of a program will be executed on your device. This makes it very easy for an intruder to enter a malicious code on your computer.
Suspicion of unusual emails
Yes you receive an email from a person you don’t know or from a friend that usually does not communicate with you by this means, you must be careful and pay close attention, as it may contain links or malware that manage to install itself on your computer.
Consistently classify messages
When you receive emails that are suspicious or unusual you will have to classify them as spam. This will help prevent them from appearing in the Inbox and are removed with certain periodicity from the folder junk emails.
Don’t use your email address for unreliable subscriptions
It is common that when you browse sites that are not trusted, you are asked for your identification or the creation of a user through the email address. This will not cause you to install a virus, but if you will be giving information to a hacker’s database so I can send you emails later.
Install an antivirus
While the email providers They have tools that allow detecting the presence of threats, It is recommended to install a powerful antivirus that reports in real time the presence of dangers virus infection. In addition, you must periodically update the antivirus so that it works efficiently.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉