Malicious software

Malicious software

Understanding malicious software

Malware are designed to infiltrate, damage or obtain information from a mobile or computer device without the owner’s consent. These include spywares, computer viruses and Trojan horses.

Spyware is a type of software that is installed on a device, without permission from user. It could monitor and record device user's device user information / internet behaviour by hiding its malicious purpose. It collects and transmits the gathered information (for example, personal credentials including user name, password and credit card numbers, etc.) to unauthorised third parties for own benefits.

Besides, various viruses can pose security threats to the device users. A virus may contain destructive code that can move into multiple programmes, data files or devices on a system and spread through multiple systems in a network, resulting in the malfunction of the devices and loss of the data.

There is one more type of malware called trojan horse. It can masquerade as innocent programme, take control of your device and perform illicit operations unnoticed by the users.

Preventing invasion of malicious software

To prevent the invasion of malicious software, please consider taking the below measures:

  • Do not click on links from suspicious SMS, emails, webpages or social media pages / posts
  • Only download and install apps provided by trusted and verified developers from official app stores, and maintain proper configuration of devices (e.g. disallow installation of apps from unknown sources)
  • Evaluate apps' requested permissions carefully before installation
  • Install and run antivirus software or anti-spyware software, and update virus signature regularly to detect and prevent virus infection, as well as malware
  • Install the latest version of operating systems / browsers / software, and/or the latest patches and security updates provided by manufacturers to eliminate software vulnerabilities
  • Set up a firewall to protect your network from malicious hackers who access your mobile devices, personal computers and network resources

Tackling invasion of malicious software

If you suspect that malicious software has already invaded your device, please consider taking the below measures:

  • Uninstall any suspicious apps from your device
  • Switch to aeroplane mode or disconnect from the internet directly
  • Perform a factory reset to ensure the apps are completely removed