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What is Malware Software? A Primer for 2020

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Malware is malicious software — it is there in the name. Yet, in 2020, malware takes so many different forms. Yes, there are the typical worms and viruses that have been plaguing systems since the 1980s, but there are also new, incredibly sophisticated types of attacks that do horrible things to devices and their users. In a time when home users need advanced technology just to log onto the internet, many users might be wondering in earnest: What counts as malware, and what are the best ways to defend against it in an age when so many people rely so heavily on their home networks?

The Definition of Malware

malware software
Image Source: unsplash.com
In the simplest sense, malware is any software that is designed with the intention of causing some kind of harm to other device users. The definition of malware is deliberately vague to encompass a wide array of programs and applications as well as attack vectors, especially as the web evolves and cyber criminals develop new tools and techniques for attacking others. The key term in malware’s definition is “intention” — attackers are determined to damage or impair their victims in some way, and that is why their software is malicious.

Decades ago, malware was a rudimentary program spread via floppy disk and hardly capable of taking over a computer screen. The earliest malware was developed for little more than fun; hackers played around with malware merely for the challenge of creating a new computer program with interesting capabilities. Still, they had the intention of interfering with devices and users in some way, even if it was temporary or simplistic, so their actions count as malware.

Obviously, that has changed in recent years. These days, there is much more variation in malware types, which we will get into in-depth in the next section. More importantly, the intention behind malware is intensified, with the vast majority of attackers acting with powerfully negative motivations. Most often, modern cybercriminals leverage malware for financial gain, extorting victims for cash or cryptocurrency or else selling pilfered data for money. Other times, cybercriminals use malware to disrupt a company’s operations, wreaking havoc with the goal of crippling an organization to failure. In any case, the software used is devastating to victims, and that is what makes it malware.

Prevalent Types of Malware

Different types of malware exist to achieve different malicious goals. Here are a few of the most dominant types of malware currently floating around the web:

  • Ransomware. Perhaps the most well-known malware, ransomware hides or encrypts a victim’s data and demands a large payment for the data’s safe return. Some ransomware masquerades as a legitimate program. Unfortunately, victims who pay rarely see their data again.
  • Cryptojackers. As cryptocurrency rises in value, cybercriminals have devised malware that settles into the background of a victim’s device, using its processing power to mine cryptocurrency. This can cause the device to run slow and age prematurely, which is inconvenient and frustrating not to mention expensive.
  • Botnets. A botnet is a network of devices that have all succumbed to the same malware and can all be controlled by a single bad actor. Often, botnets are used to launch much larger attacks against more secure networks, like large businesses, but in the meantime, devices within botnets are more susceptible to other malware.
  • Adware. Though it isn’t often reported on, adware is by far the most plentiful malware in history. Adware seems relatively benign, merely installing unwanted browser extensions or increasing pop-up advertisements, but it often comes alongside other, more devastating malware.

While trends come and go in the cybercriminal community, few types of malware ever truly disappear. Even though high-tech ransomware and cryptojackers dominate the news, there still exists a wealth of old-school viruses, worms, Trojans and the like all over the web. It isn’t enough to be on the lookout for only a handful of malware types; instead, users need comprehensive malware protection.

Staying Safe from Malware

malware software
Image Source: unsplash.com

It is undeniably valuable to know where malware is most likely to be: within third-party downloads, attached to spam emails, on insecure websites and such. Users need to be able to identify phishing scams through email and on social media, which usually entails paying attention to spelling, grammar and the direction of links. In general, avoiding malware requires avoiding dangerous locations around the web.

However, it is much easier to stay safe from malware when devices are protected with complete antivirus software. While users can and should continue to employ their knowledge of malware to evade it, antivirus tools are smarter at identifying malware and stronger at resisting it, almost regardless of its type or intentions. Paid antivirus solutions come in a number of tiers and complexities to ensure that every home user has access to effective protection from malware.

Malware is everywhere, and those who refuse to learn about malware are destined to become victims again and again. By staying up to date with regards to what types of malware are surging and how best to stay safe, users can avoid suffering due to malicious software.

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5 Best React JS UI Frameworks for Swift Prototyping

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Rowan Bunning, the Australian pioneer of Scrum has said, “…the agile movement is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces in the 21st century.” Every person who knows Agile well will agree that Agile turns the focus on the people from the processes and systems. Somehow, this has proved to work as far as increasing efficiency is concerned.

Those who do not know much about Scrum may wonder why the discussion about Agile, so let us have a tiny discussion on that. Originating somewhere around the ’70s with an emphasis on evolutionary project management and adaptive software development, Agile became truly popular in the 21st century. So did Scrum, with people in businesses starting to talk about it, and even about the CSM and CSPO course that proved as an entry in the world of Scrum.

Scrum, the main topic of our discussion, is a framework based on the agile approach. It follows the agile principles of being adaptive throughout the development process by having self-organizing teams that set and attain smaller goals.

Before speaking about the market demand for Scrum and Scrum professionals, it is interesting to have a look at how Scrum is implemented. Have a look at the image below

Essential Features of Scrum that Make It a Success

The traditional methods of product development had goals that were far set and rigid. Whenever obvious problems such as changes in requirements by customers came, the whole goal had to be rearranged from the beginning, making it difficult to adjust. Additionally, having specific team members working on specific tasks meant slow down or roadblocks in the absence of a particular member.

Scrum overcomes the above problems to an almost complete extent by having teams where members can undertake multiple tasks, and are not weighed down by long term single large goals. The focus is to deliver a valuable product in increments with short term goals. This brings flexibility and adaptability to changes.

One of the important principles of Scrum is delivering high-quality software/products. It is also mentioned in the Scrum Manifesto that working software/product is the primary measure of success. Interestingly, having self-organizing teams makes the team more accountable for its performance, as it is no more tied in conventional processes and systems.

This accountability acts as a factor in the improvement in product quality.

  • Iterative and incremental

As mentioned in point 1, having a single large goal is dependent on may internal as well as external factors and has a high chance of failure in achieving in terms of time or quality. Scrum operates in time-boxed iterations called Sprints, as seen in the image above.

Sprints are when smaller goals are set, always less than one month, usually of a week or two, and the focus is on achieving that goal. This ensures higher flexibility and clarity. If there are flaws in the approach towards a product’s development, they are surfaced in these sprints and accordingly, actions can be taken immediately. This makes the whole process less vulnerable to failure. Hence it is rightly said that Scrum is not a problem-solving framework, but a problem surfacing framework.

Scrum Master and Product Owner are in charge of communicating everything within and outside of the team. A core value of Scrum is transparency, wherein product owners are required to communicate the true progress of the project with all the stakeholders.

This builds trust and makes the process more effective.

The Market and Scrum

Take a look at the pie chart below.

Agile has become a widely used approach in many industries, especially those that deal with software development. Among the usage of Agile frameworks, it can be seen from the above image that Scrum is the undoubted leader with way over half the organizations using pure Scrum. Add the hybrid Scrum frameworks and the number goes even higher.

Numbers speak better than words, and we cannot doubt the growing demand of Scrum, and hence the professionals in Scrum. Scrum professionals are certified product development professionals where the certification comes from a global Scrum authority such as the Scrum Alliance.

To make a career in Scrum, one can choose to become a Scrum developer, which is a basic part of the team, or a Scrum Master, who operates as the servant-leader to the Scrum team, clearing obstacles and maintaining clarity, or a Scrum Product Owner, who creates and communicates a vision of what is to be done and also acts as a communicator to all stakeholders.

In any case, a certification is a must and a training course, for e.g., a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification  is highly recommended.

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The Indisputable Worth of Scrum and Scrum Professionals

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Rowan Bunning, the Australian pioneer of Scrum has said, “…the agile movement is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces in the 21st century.” Every person who knows Agile well will agree that Agile turns the focus on the people from the processes and systems. Somehow, this has proved to work as far as increasing efficiency is concerned.

Those who do not know much about Scrum may wonder why the discussion about Agile, so let us have a tiny discussion on that. Originating somewhere around the ’70s with an emphasis on evolutionary project management and adaptive software development, Agile became truly popular in the 21st century. So did Scrum, with people in businesses starting to talk about it, and even about the CSM and CSPO course that proved as an entry in the world of Scrum.

Scrum, the main topic of our discussion, is a framework based on the agile approach. It follows the agile principles of being adaptive throughout the development process by having self-organizing teams that set and attain smaller goals.

Before speaking about the market demand for Scrum and Scrum professionals, it is interesting to have a look at how Scrum is implemented. Have a look at the image below

Essential Features of Scrum that Make It a Success

The traditional methods of product development had goals that were far set and rigid. Whenever obvious problems such as changes in requirements by customers came, the whole goal had to be rearranged from the beginning, making it difficult to adjust. Additionally, having specific team members working on specific tasks meant slow down or roadblocks in the absence of a particular member.

Scrum overcomes the above problems to an almost complete extent by having teams where members can undertake multiple tasks, and are not weighed down by long term single large goals. The focus is to deliver a valuable product in increments with short term goals. This brings flexibility and adaptability to changes.

One of the important principles of Scrum is delivering high-quality software/products. It is also mentioned in the Scrum Manifesto that working software/product is the primary measure of success. Interestingly, having self-organizing teams makes the team more accountable for its performance, as it is no more tied in conventional processes and systems.

This accountability acts as a factor in the improvement in product quality.

  • Iterative and incremental

As mentioned in point 1, having a single large goal is dependent on may internal as well as external factors and has a high chance of failure in achieving in terms of time or quality. Scrum operates in time-boxed iterations called Sprints, as seen in the image above.

Sprints are when smaller goals are set, always less than one month, usually of a week or two, and the focus is on achieving that goal. This ensures higher flexibility and clarity. If there are flaws in the approach towards a product’s development, they are surfaced in these sprints and accordingly, actions can be taken immediately. This makes the whole process less vulnerable to failure. Hence it is rightly said that Scrum is not a problem-solving framework, but a problem surfacing framework.

Scrum Master and Product Owner are in charge of communicating everything within and outside of the team. A core value of Scrum is transparency, wherein product owners are required to communicate the true progress of the project with all the stakeholders.

This builds trust and makes the process more effective.

The Market and Scrum

Take a look at the pie chart below.

Agile has become a widely used approach in many industries, especially those that deal with software development. Among the usage of Agile frameworks, it can be seen from the above image that Scrum is the undoubted leader with way over half the organizations using pure Scrum. Add the hybrid Scrum frameworks and the number goes even higher.

Numbers speak better than words, and we cannot doubt the growing demand of Scrum, and hence the professionals in Scrum. Scrum professionals are certified product development professionals where the certification comes from a global Scrum authority such as the Scrum Alliance.

To make a career in Scrum, one can choose to become a Scrum developer, which is a basic part of the team, or a Scrum Master, who operates as the servant-leader to the Scrum team, clearing obstacles and maintaining clarity, or a Scrum Product Owner, who creates and communicates a vision of what is to be done and also acts as a communicator to all stakeholders.

In any case, a certification is a must and a training course, for e.g., a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification  is highly recommended.

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The New Version of Adobe Reader – Best PDF Software for Windows 10

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Adobe Reader has been one of the most popular and recommended tools in the last two decades when it comes to viewing PDFs, simply because it worked well and was easy and quick to install.

In the last few years, a new PDF tool has been released by Adobe in order to keep their services adapted to the constantly evolving necessities of their users. Because of this, they have created Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which is a completely improved and full of features on paid versions newer Adobe Reader. This software comes with many upgraded options, but at the same, it’s completely free to download and use to fit the most common PDF tasks without paying a dime. So if you are looking for adobe reader for windows 10 you could install the standard Adobe Reader or the greatly improved Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. This last one takes a bit more of storage space we must say.

We can find many new features on the new Adobe Reader DC, however, we are required to buy some of the upgraded versions and pay for it monthly so unlock all of these features that we can find them on the section “Tools” on the top of our Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

  • Adding comments to an existing PDF
  • Edit the PDF.
  • Export the PDF to other formats such as Microsoft Word or Excel.
  • Create a new PDF from a different format.
  • Share files for giving others the possibility of viewing or reviewing them and track their responses.
  • Add stamps to a PDF file such as “approved” or “draft.”
  • Take measures such as the distance, the area or the perimeter of objects in the PDF.
  • Sign and certify documents digitally to validate their authenticity
  • Organize pages using the insert, rotate or extract tools.
  • Delete specific data or hidden text as well as graphics.
  • Protect to prevent other people from copying and editing the information in your PDFs.
  • Prepare Form allows us to convert formats such as scanned forms to PDF format
  • Optimization of a PDF file, allowing us to reduce the size of the file using compression techniques, enable the fast web view and quickly modify the font options as well as control images
  • Enhance Scans, to turn scans or photos into PDFs with selectable text.
  • Print Production: Preview and prepare PDF files for high-end production.
  • PDF Standards: allowing us to make of our PDF file a file complying with the ISO standards
  • Create a custom tool, to modify and create our new collection of tools so we can use them for ourselves or share them with other people.
  • Compare files, to quickly find and clearly see the differences between two different PDF files.
  • Action wizard, for helping us automatize some of our daily PDF-related tasks
  • Accessibility: To make our PDFs to they meet the necessities of people with disabilities
  • Rich Media: Easily insert audio, video and interactive elements in our PDFs
  • Index: To help, keep our PDF files organized using different categories to store them.
  • Send for review: Send a petition to people to check and give you a response about your PDF file.
  • JavaScript: To extend the functionality of our PDF as well as connect to JavaScript databases

As we can see, the number of improvements of the new Adobe Reader DC is certainly amazing compared to his older version. Specially the fact that we can use so many features makes it specially worth it if you are using it for professional purposes, it makes it easily the best PDF software available at the moment, and probably for many years to come.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the adobe reader for windows 10 you are looking for, once you try it you won’t want to switch back to any other similar software. There are a few other similar options available but most of these options don’t give us access to half of the features that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is giving us with the paid versions.

We highly recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for all your PDF-related tasks!

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