Malware is an umbrella term used for any software that automatically gets installed in a device and takes actions without permission.
Such software is created for the benefit of an outsider. For example, an entertainment website can use malware to collect data, to show you adverts which are related to your activity.
These malware vary in intention and effects; they can be simple and harmless, or they may cause serious damage to you and your device.
Securelist (Kaspersky Lab) notes that almost 2,961,727 malicious installation packages were detected in 2015 alone. The numbers are growing and are becoming difficult to avoid.
This is why we need to understand what different malware do. Here we present a brief list of various types of malware:
Viruses are named so because of their similarities to ‘biological viruses’. It is contagious, meaning it can easily spread to other computers. It first attaches itself to a software or code, and then replicates every time it is run. Shared files or software are commonly targeted by viruses thus spreading to the entire networks of computers.
As the name indicates, a spyware keeps an eye out for activities. It discreetly gathers user information and sells it to a third party. From your internet browsing habits to your device’s IP address, nothing is hidden from a spyware.
It is perhaps the least dangerous and the most annoying malware. Simply put, it displays ads when you are connected to internet. So those annoying ads popping up every time you click a link, that’s an adware.
It is a program which slowly destroys data and operating files. It continues its activities until the whole disk is empty. Worms usually arrive through emails with a mass-mailing function. Yes, you are not alone to receive those dubious emails. Local Area Networks (LANs) can also transmit these worms.
Just like the Greek Trojan horse, this malware takes on the appearance of legitimate software. Because of this, users download and execute these programs on their devices. Precaution must be taken because it is the most dangerous malware. It especially attacks user’s financial information such as credit card information. They may also use a ‘denial of service tactic’, making selected websites unable to you.
If an advert takes over your browser, it is a malware. They usually sport fake antivirus software or security sites. If you open a website and it only looks similar to original but not original, shut it down and scan your computer. This is how these software hijackers appear.
This is a kind of malware that takes over your system and locks you out. It may appear as a security agency’s website asking for money to get access to your system. Transferring money will unlock it, but only for time being. Plus, they would still have access to your system, so any offer they make should be unacceptable.
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