What is Malware

Cybercriminals, or hackers, often develop software intended to steal or damage data and destroy computer systems. This is referred to as malware or “malicious software.” There are many ways it can spread to a device. Spam emails, fake messages on websites, and pop-up ads are notorious for carrying malware. Downloading any kind of software from the Internet also increases the risk of being secretly infected. This is true even for applications acquired through legitimate methods.

In the case of malware, the spectrum of threats is rather extensive. It spreads not only to computers and mobile devices but also reaches the rest of your data. In the list below, we have explained different types of malware threats:

  1. Computer viruses. Just like humans, devices can become infected by viruses. Students can easily acquire one alongside a downloaded PDF or Word Document. It will activate once the software it is connected to is executed or opened. Viruses’ purpose is to disrupt your computer’s system, cause operational difficulties, and damage your data.
  2. Trojan horses. Named after the famous incident described in The Iliad, this type of virus masquerades as helpful software. It tricks the users into downloading it, only to cause harm once the program is running. The damage can range from irritating pop-ups to major data loss.
  3. Spyware. There is a type of malware that runs discretely, silently stealing personal data or sensitive information. Spyware can even grant its creator the ability to change various programs and Internet settings. Typically, people download it alongside other safe-seeming software.
  4. Worms. What separates a worm from a virus is its ability to compromise a device instantly. The moment you download it, it will start affecting your computer´s system. It will also immediately spread from device to device and system to system. Students and schools are often targeted with worms because of their extensive networks and databases.
  5. Adware. We have all suffered from advertisements during our time on the Internet, and it is never a pleasant experience. However, what makes adware particularly dangerous is that it can cause significant issues to your system. Sometimes, it contains other viruses or Trojan horses, and it can slow down your device.
  6. Ransomware. It is designed to find your data and then encrypt it. In this case, you will no longer have access to your accounts or files. To get your information back, you will have to provide a monetary payment to the cybercriminal. These attacks are common among university and school websites because of the pressure to get back sensitive details.

How to Prevent Malware

Your protection against viruses and other types of malware depends on how well you take care of your device. Constantly upgrading your software, using antivirus programs, and cleaning can prevent the majority of threats. However, your Internet activity also plays a significant role.

To protect yourself from malware on your computer and mobile devices, follow our checklist:

Source: https://ivypanda.com/blog/cyber-security-threats/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *