A malware attack can devastate your business’s operations. Depending on the type of malware, it may steal your business’s data, spam its customers or even lock your business’s files. While malware can land anywhere on your computer’s storage drive, though, one of the most common places for infections is the temp folder. This discreet folder is often the home of malware. Why does malware target the temp folder exactly?

What Is the Temp Folder

Also known as the temporary folder, the temp folder is a directory in the Windows operating system that’s used to store temporary files. Many legitimate programs and applications use temporary files. Temporary files contain data that’s necessary for a program or application to run. They are known as “temporary files” because they can typically be deleted at a later time without interfering with the program’s or application’s functionality.

How Malware Uses the Temp Folder

When running antivirus software, you may discover malware in your computer’s temp folder. The temp folder is a prime target for malware for several reasons. First, malware is often attached to or embedding in legitimate programs and applications. A program and application may function as intended, but executing it may create malware in the form of a temporary file. These malicious temporary files will be stored in the temp folder.

The temp folder is also a discreet area that many victims of malware attacks overlook. Some people, in fact, neglect to scan the temp folder when running antivirus software. If you don’t scan your computer’s temp folder, you may fail to identify malware in the form of temporary files.

Clean Up Your Temp Folder

Fortunately, you can prevent malicious temporary files by cleaning up your computer’s temp folder. This involves deleting the temporarily files stored in the temp folder. Before deleting them, though, it’s recommended that you reboot your computer. After rebooting your computer, navigate to the temp folder to select and delete its contents (don’t delete the actual folder). If there was any malware in it, the malicious temporarily files will no longer pose a risk.

Aside from preventing malware infections, deleting the temp folder’s contents can improve the performance of your computer. Temporary files contain data that will consume your computer’s storage space and other resources. If you rarely or never clean up your computer’s temp folder, you may experience slow and sluggish performance due to the consumption of these resources.