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Malware is short for ‘malicious software’ referring to programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. Malware is specifically designed to disrupt and/or cause damage to your computer system. Common examples of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.

Banking Malware is a type of software used by cyber criminals to target online bank accounts and allows them to obtain personal and financial details.

Malware is designed to run undetected in the background, often hidden in free software or shareware that you download from the internet (for example, a multimedia program or file, such as music or a video, or a peer-to-peer transfer system).

The signs to look for include:

  • Advertising pop-ups (a window that opens on the screen) that appear every few seconds.
  • Extra toolbars in your browser that won’t go away.
  • Browser going to sites you didn’t tell it to.
  • Unexplained system slowdowns.
  • Sudden increase in computer crashes.

Key Advice

To bank online or safely make payments online requires good computer security practices. Some of these include:

  1. Always check that the latest updates of your operating system have been installed on your computer. Your computer’s operating system can also be set to check for the latest updates automatically and install them immediately.
  2. Check that you are using the latest version of your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.)
  3. Ensure that the security level of your browser is set high enough. You can check this in your browser’s options, under “Security”.
  4. Use a personal firewall at all times when you are connected to the internet.
  5. If you are working on a local area network (multiple computers on the same internet connection), ensure that this is sufficiently secure.
  6. Install all the necessary security software, such as anti-virus programs, firewalls, spam filters, anti-malware and anti-spyware products. Regularly scan your computer for viruses, weekly is advisable.
  7. Set your system configuration to give you better protection against malware.
  8. Educate yourself about internet threats and how to use your computer.