Computers have made lives easier but every even comes with an odd. With developing technologies, the threats have become more powerful and rampant. Presently, the risk of malware has reached to its apex with a billion target hits. From malfunctioning in your machine to monetary loss, malware has been playing its part deliberately.
Although, there are precautionary steps that you can take to be safe, but they are not capable enough to provide cent percent guarantee. To help you with the same, we’re going to discuss and tell you everything you need to know about Malware.
What is a Malware?
Malware is a malicious software that is designed to compromise computer functionality. Malware is majorly intended to steal data, bypass access controls, breach security and harm your computer and the data on it. A Malware is a name that is used majorly and has multiple variety of malicious programs in it. If a computer suffers a malware attack, it might go unnoticed if you’re not well aware and prepared. There are times when it is too late to realize that your machine has been infected and the data in it has been compromised.
Types of Malware
As discussed, Malware is a big term and contains many types in it. A malicious software is designed to harm your computer with an intention to grab as much information as possible. This information may later be used against you or to steal money through various ways. The types of malware can be understood as:
1. Trojan: Trojan is one of the most popular term to denote a malware on computer. The Trojan Horse also known as ‘Trojan’ is a type of malware that disguises itself as a regular file or tool so that users can download it without thinking twice. Once it gets in, it may provide remote access to an attacker and may consequently lead to a financial loss as the attacker would take the financial information and login of bank out of your machine.
2. Virus: A virus is another form of malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to many computers. The viruses may spread by sticking themselves to a program or executable file, which releases them upon launching.
3. Adware: Adware are the small programs that are built to show you advertisements, even if you don’t want them. Adware are most likely to get into your computer when you download a free version of any software from a third-party website. You may experience the adware presence through various pop-ups and website advertisements on your machine.
4. Spyware: Spyware are those malware that are designed to keep an eye on you. These tools may record your activity on your machine that include collecting keystrokes, account information, login credentials, financial and personal data etc. Spyware may also create a database of your information and pass it on to an attacker.
Read Also : How To Protect Your Computer From Malware
5. Ransomware: As the name denotes, Ransomware is designed to get into your computer and ask for money. A ransomware is a tool that you may download mistakenly from any website, which takes a hold of your computer. It restricts user access to the computer by encrypting or locking the hard drive. It also shows a lock screen with a ransom amount to be paid against getting back the access of your own computer. This is one of the biggest threat to the commercial computers. In 2017, ransomware demanded ransom in the form of Bitcoin so that no one could trace it due to its decentralized property.
6. Rootkit: Rootkit is easy to get in and hard to be recognized tool on your machine. It is a type of malware that is designed to remotely access or control a computer without being detected by any security tool. Rootkit enables the attacker to take the control of your computer and steal the data on it. The prevention and detection of a Rootkit program is almost impossible due to its stealthy operation. You may learn about Rootkit more by clicking here.
7. Bug: Bug is a flaw in any software coding that delivers an unwanted result. The bugs are not very harmful as they are a result of a human error and may only reside in compilation or source code. Bugs generally don’t create a massive harm but they certainly affect the program’s behavior. There are high possibilities that they go unchecked and undetected for a long period of time. Also, if a bug is of significant importance, it may cause freezing or crashing of the program.
8. Bot: Bots are designed to automatically perform certain course of actions. Generally, bots are created for harmless purposes like Internet auctions, search engines, contests held online etc. But, there are high chances that they can be created for malicious purposes. Bots can be applied in botnets that is a collection of computers systems controlled by a third party for various attacks, like DDos.
9. Worm: Worms are the most common malware that spread over computer network through exploitation of OS vulnerabilities. Although, some tools recognize worms as viruses but there are some points that distinguish them from a virus. Once they’re on your machine, they harm host networks by overloading servers and consuming bandwidth.
10. Spam: Spam is a process of flooding Internet with the same content that is intended to forcefully bring it to attention of public. Most spams are of commercial advertisements or some fake products and services. It is important to know that spam is not typically a type of malware, but a malware can be spread through spam.
How to Prevent Malware Infection
1. Protection on Computer: Malware protection is best provided by a dedicated tool like Advanced System Protector for Windows and Systweak Anti Malware for Mac computers. These tools are designed professionally with a huge database of malware to fight with and are absolutely free to download. If you access Internet over your machine, its is highly recommended that you gear it with a professional anti malware tool.
2. Protection on Android: If you’re conscious about your Android, apart from abiding by the safety rules, you may also install an antivirus app for Android. One such application is Avast Antivirus & Security which will block malicious links and apps from harming your device. It provides a VPN and WiFi network scanner to keep you safe online.
3. Update the Tools: You may help your device to be safe from Malware infection by keeping your operating system up to date. Sometimes, the new updates of OS, browsers and software are there with security upgradation and patches.
4. Remove Unnecessary Tools: One of the best way to avoid Malware attack is to uninstall any software that you don’t remember downloading. You must also remove any software that you don’t use anymore.
5. Careful with Emails: It is important that you pay extra attention while opening up an email and the attachment. If you get lots of emails, pay a closer look to check if it is a spam. Make sure you don’t open any attachment in the email received from an unknown source.
6. Safe Browsing: Web surfing is the most common task on computer. However, you need to be extra cautious while on a web page. You should avoid going on unsecure pages and should always check for the https:// sign in the address bar to check for the legitimacy of the page.
7. Log Out After Use: It is very common to leave the profile logged in even after you are done using on the portal. Whether it is a social media platform or bank, people just close the tab or window to get out of the screen. Experts suggest that closing a window may not take you out of the logged in state and this may lead to a monetary and identity loss. Although, identity loss can be taken care of by tools like Advanced Identity Protector but it is still important that you safely log out of any profile that you are logged in to.
Overall, malware is just a small program that is intended to breach your security for a number of reasons. You may ensure your protection from any such threat by applying any of the above suggested tools and tricks. You must make sure that you download the contents only from the official websites and don’t entertain any unknown publisher or sender. If you want to share some more advice, do let us know in the comments below.