What are Trojans and How Can I Keep Myself Safe?

August 30, 2021

What are Trojans and How Can I Keep Myself Safe


Malware has been on the rise in recent years and it is more important than ever for individuals and businesses to educate themselves on good cybersecurity practices to help prevent costly mistakes. By being aware of common scams, users can take care to avoid these tricks set by cybercriminals and implement measures to keep themselves and their data safe. Trojans are a common form of malware that is employed by cyber hackers to gain access to users’ systems. Keep reading to learn more about how Trojans work and how you can keep yourself safe from this form of malware.


What is a Trojan?


A Trojan horse or a Trojan is a type of malware delivery that occurs when harmless programs disguise themselves as legitimate software (hence the name) in order to convince individuals into downloading it. This malware typically hides within a seemingly harmless program which tricks you into downloading it. Trojans are spread by pretending to be a useful software which encourages individuals to load and execute it. Usually victims are tricked into downloading Trojans onto their systems. In reality, the software includes malicious code that can be disastrous for the individual once it is downloaded - it can enable cybercriminals to spy on you, steal your sensitive data and more. 


Hackers employ malware for a number of reasons, but typically their goal is to steal or gain access to private data and other confidential information. This allows cybercriminals to make financial gains by either selling this data, extorting or ransoming it back to the individual.


Trojans can be executed in a number of ways including:

- Users opening a phishing attack via email which leads them to another site encouraging them to download a certain program.

- Scareware attacks that lead to users downloading Trojans to their devices. Read more about our blog on scareware here.

- User visits a malicious website and experiences an attack where malicious software automatically downloads onto the device.

- User downloads a program from an untrustworthy publisher and website, believe it to be a useful and legitimate program.

- User connected to a fake Wi-Fi network that was created by hackers to download malicious content onto a user’s device.


How Can You Tell If You Have Been Infected?


Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your device has been compromised, especially since these programs are designed to trick you into downloading them and pose as legitimate applications. Here are some signs that your device may be compromised.


1. Device Constantly Crashes

If your device is experiencing a stark decrease in performance, including slowed performance, frequently crashing or more, this may be an indication that you have been breached by Trojan malware.


2. Desktop/Mobile Appears Different

If your desktop has changed at all - such as your screen colours, resolution or taskbar appearing differently,


3. Random Programs You Don’t Recognize Have Been Installed 

New programs existing in your systems that you do not recall downloading.


4. Random Pop-Ups While Browsing

An increase in random browser pop-ups that may try to sell your antivirus software or products. If you do experience these, it is important that you do not click on any of the links provided. 


5. Random Redirections While Browsing

Being redirected to random or unfamiliar websites while browsing online.


6. Increase in Spam Emails


What Can I Do?


The best practice for keeping yourself safe is a combination of good cybersecurity practices in addition to being aware and educated. It is important for you to be careful about your downloads and to stay aware of phishing threats. Always think twice before clicking on unfamiliar links or downloading things from unsafe websites. Remember, if something seems suspicious then it most likely is. Ensure that your devices are always up to date as this will help ensure that you have the most updated security system in place. 


The best way to keep your devices safe is to implement a security system to protect your devices. Here at CyberUnit we offer all types of protection, from mobile to computer protection plans. We offer customized security plans for individuals and businesses, at a price that’s right for you. We can also help you to check if your devices have been compromised. Contact us today to learn more.


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