If you don’t know anything else about malware, you know it’s sneaky and it’s dangerous. Everything in the IT world teaches us to try avoiding its evil wrath at all costs. But, what exactly is it and how do you protect your computer from being harmed?
With malware being such a broad term, it’s helpful to identify some of its different types. After all, you do have to know your opponent before the battle.
What is Malware?
Malicious + Software = Malware
Techopedia defines malware as “software designed to cause harm to a computer.” These clever programs sneak past access controls and steal data from the host computer.
Types of Malware
Adware (Advertising supported + Software) is seen in pop-up ads and advertisements that are displayed, often promoting free versions of software. Most adware is not dangerous. However, it could contain spyware which is used to track user activity and steal private information.
Ransomware is a type of malware that holds a user’s computer hostage until a ransom fee is paid. It intrudes a PC and locks the user out of the network system. Ransomware spreads via downloaded file or visiting a hacked website.
Spyware is a form of malware that gathers information through the user’s internet connection without their knowledge. This malicious software collects login information, financial data, monitors user activity and more. Often times, it spreads by bundling itself with legitimate software.
Bot (Internet bot) is a software application that automatically performs task over the internet. Bots are used Websites defend against malicious bots with CAPTCHA that verifies human users.
A bug refers to an error in software or hardware that causes a program to malfunction. Minor bugs can affect a program’s behavior that may result in crashing or freezing. More severe bugs can allow attackers to bypass access points and steal important data.
Phishing is the fraudulent act of attempting to scam the user into surrendering private information, like address, phone number, banking information, etc., that could be used for identity theft. Often seen in emails claiming that the user has just won a monetary award.
A rootkit is a type of malicious software that is downloaded each time a system boots up. It is designed to access or take control a computer without being detected. Once installed, a rootkit been can remotely access and steal information.
A Trojan horse is a type of malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program that tricks users into downloading malware. The most dangerous types of Trojans are the programs that claim to rid your system of viruses but end up introducing your computer to a host of infections and other forms of malware.
A computer virus is a lot like a human viral condition. It is capable of replicating itself and spreading to other computers. Viruses spread to other networks by attaching themselves to files and programs.
A worm is a type of malware that replicates itself and breaks into a computers to perform malicious acts and potentially shut the system down.
Help! Is Malware Invading my Computer?
Is your computer acting weird? Here’s a few key signs can indicate that your computer may be infected by malware:
- Computer is running slower than usual
- Serves pop-up ads even when a browser is not open
- A security program you never installed issues you a warning
Protect Your PC with Centre Technologies
With so many different forms of malicious software, being hit may seem inevitable. Don’t sweat it. Centre Assist can handle your entire IT – ensuring high-level protection through ongoing maintenance, monitoring, and updating. Shield your company from invasive malware with Centre Technologies. Contact us today.