How Does Malware Work?

You may have recently had a malware infection on your computer and wondered how it even happened. Maybe you had an infection in the past and only have a vague notion as to how it occurred. If you’ve ever wondered how to prevent a malware infiltration of your system or gain a better understanding of how it works, this is the place to learn.


First and foremost, you need to understand how malware even got on your computer or into your network. There are various reasons as to how you got that infection, but the leading causes are:

  • Downloading From Unreliable Sources: Have you ever received an email with a download link that seemed a little fishy but didn’t set off any alarms? If you click on links without first checking the full destination URL and the full email address of the sender, you could be downloading malware that will spread like wildfire.
  • Phishing Emails: It doesn’t have to be a software download; merely clicking and following a suspicious link could lead you straight into a trap. Having the right managed and monitored endpoint security in combination with managed phishing filtering in place is the ideal security solution to keeping phishing emails from harming your business.
  • Pop-ups: Ideally, you will have an ad-blocker in place to prevent accidental clicks, but if not, then clicking on an ad or pop-up could lead to trouble. Always double-check link destinations before clicking, or, to avoid problems altogether, try not to click anything unless it’s explicitly safe to follow (author links out to another site in the text, citation links, and other similar cases).

These are the most common occurrences in a work environment that could cause problems with malware. Always have your eyes peeled for trouble and have the latest security measures in place to keep your personal information intact and give you a safe browsing experience.


Let’s say you accidentally clicked a link you shouldn’t have and you now have malware. It’s not a big deal right? IT can come in and do their magic, sweep up the issue, and everything is back to normal, right? Wrong. First, you need to know the signs of malware on your computer so you can let your resident experts know as soon as possible. The significant signs of infection are:

  • Increased pop-ups when online and using your desktop: Links may open automatically, random pop-ups appear even when you aren’t online, and other strange behavior is a clear indication of malware.
  • Program Issues: If programs are opening and closing at random or other issues occurring around your applications, something else is at work on your computer.
  • Strange Emails: If you are receiving a sudden influx of spam emails or emails from unfamiliar, unknown senders, there may be malicious software on your computer.
  • File Lockout: Files that you’ve had access to before or that are public are suddenly locked. This either means that administrative access has changed or you have an unwanted guest.

If you see any of these signs, then you have a problem on your hands. Hackers use advanced tools that are specially designed to spread malware across your network. Once they have a way in, be it a stray link, email attachment, or otherwise, they probe through your system looking for data to steal or exploit. Malware typically slows down your computer and damages your system. The stronger malware can’t be detected by conventional virus detection and requires specialized services.


Each case is different, but here are two things you should do immediately:

  • Let your IT department know immediately – time is of the essence if you’ve been infected, so don’t wait or think the problem will go away. It won’t; it will get worse. Call you IT department ASAP.
  • If you are an ITque client, call ITque at 408.641.7030 Ext.1. We know Malware attacks can be vicious and quick, so we place these issues at the top of the priority list.


There are different types of malware that ITque has touched on in the past. What we want you to look out for is if malware has infected your PC and how you should respond. ITque understands that accidents happen, but we want you to be prepared for problems before they wreak havoc on your system. Knowing what to look out for and understanding how it infiltrates your system is the first step in taking preventive measures.

One way to prepare your company to defend against Malware is to sign up for ITque’s FREE Cyber Security Awareness Training seminars. These 60-90 minute, interactive discussions take place at your location and is led by our CTO, DJ Forman. In this fun and engaging seminar, we’ll teach your team how to avoid hacks, ring-once scams, phishing attempts and other malicious attempts to access your network and data. It’s free, there’s no obligation and we don’t try to sell you anything. Look here for details.

In the meantime, we reiterate that if you think you have been infected by malware, a virus or anything else affecting your network and computers, please call ITque immediately at 408.641.7030 Ext. 1.


ITque is a Campbell-based Managed IT Security & Services company with more than 100 small and medium-sized businesses in California and beyond. For all our clients we focus on network and data security as these are the lifeblood of most small businesses.

Our technicians have more than 127 years of combined, hands-on IT experience with companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries including legal, financial, hospitality, health care, construction, entertainment, machine shop, pharmaceutical, high-tech and more.

What’s more, in their previous lives, our CTO and technicians have worked for some of the largest security companies and on many large security projects with the likes of SSH, F-Secure, Kaspersky and Sophos as well as consulting privately on nationwide IT Security projects for Best Western and Circle K’s Credit Card processing networks.

This is one of many reasons ITque is a leading Managed IT Security and Service Provider in the Bay Area and was recently named Preferred Managed IT Service Provider for Dasher Technologies.

Contact us today at 408-641-7030.

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