Have you heard of riskware? Not to be confused with malware, it’s become increasingly common. Millions of people, as well as businesses, have riskware on their computers. Even if you’re unfamiliar with it, chances are your computer has riskware on it. This post offers an introduction to riskware, including how it works and ways to prevent it from impacting your computer.

What Is Riskware?

Riskware is a class of software that’s not directly malicious but has the ability to create security vulnerabilities in the computers or devices on which it’s installed. Malware, of course, is malicious. The term “malware” refers to malicious software. Trojans, viruses, ransomware and keyloggers are all malicious, so they are classified as malware. Riskware is not directly malicious. It consists of legitimate software that has the ability to create one or more security vulnerabilities.

The Impact of Riskware

While it’s not directly malicious, riskware can still pose problems. As previously mentioned, it can create security vulnerabilities. Security vulnerabilities are weaknesses that can be exploited to conduct a cyber attack. Riskware specifically creates one or more security vulnerabilities. A piece of software may be legitimate, but if it’s riskware, it can place you at risk for a cyber attack.

How to Protect Against Riskware

There are several things you can do to protect against riskware. When downloading software, try to use the developer’s official website. Developers typically sell their respective software on their own websites. With that said, there are third-party websites that sell software as well. Downloading software from a third-party website may result in security vulnerabilities. Maybe the software was pirated, or perhaps the software is outdated. In either case, the software will be classified as riskware because it creates a security vulnerability.

Antivirus software can protect you from riskware. Antivirus software is designed to scan storage drives for both malware and security vulnerabilities. If you have riskware on your computer, it may identify the legitimate software as a potential threat. The antivirus software will then either remove or quarantine it so that the software no longer creates a security vulnerability.

Removing software that you no longer use or intend to use can protect you from riskware. When a piece of software has reached the end of its useful life, delete it. Keeping the software on your computer won’t offer any benefits. It will only take up storage space while potentially creating one more security vulnerabilities.

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