Malware, abbreviated from ‘malicious software’, are programs that are specifically created with the malicious intent to disrupt and infect a computer system. There are different types of malware which can target specific areas of your computer or can infect your devices differently and they come in various disguises. You should know the difference between these malware, so that you know which antivirus is better for you, if you have to decide between Bitdefender vs AVG, or Kaspersky vs Avast – you get the idea.
The different types of malware are:
- Virus: This is the most familiar type of malware, and it is a program that copies itself and infects other systems and areas. They can steal your confidential information, infect your computer systems and networks, cause financial theft, create ads and much more and are spread through human actions.
How to Defend Against Them: Use an up to date antivirus software program. You should also use a Firewall and not open any suspicious attachments in your email.
- Worms: This is probably the most common type of malware. Worms find vulnerabilities in computer networks and have the ability to self replicate themselves and spread independently. They contain payloads which could cause damage to the host system as well as use up your bandwidth. They are also capable of data theft, file deletion and botnet creation.
How to Defend Against Them: Using a reliable antimalware or antivirus program is the sure way to keep worms at bay. BlueGadgetTooth team also advises you to avoid clicking on or opening any uncertain/ suspicious email links or attachments.
- Trojan Horse: Like the mythical wooden horse that cost Troy the battle, a Trojan Horse is a type of malware that disguises itself like a useful program while being a malicious program designed to steal your data, destroy the contents of your hard drive, install backdoors and more. A Trojan could fool you into thinking it’s a really cool free game, but once it’s on your system, it could harm your computer.
How to Defend Against Them: Users are advised to be aware of any new software that could be downloaded to your computers and to avoid clicking on suspicious links and attachments included in emails. An antivirus program and a firewall are great defences against Trojans.
- Spyware: As the name suggests, this type of malware collects your data without your knowledge or permission. Cookies are a form of spyware and many government agencies employ spyware for surveillance of criminal suspects or organizations.
How to Defend Against Them: Users should utilise a Firewall as well as avoid installing unknown software. Many antivirus and antimalware programs include anti-spyware software that can detect spyware located on your system.
- Ransomware: Just like the days of sailing the seven seas and piracy, ransomware is a very common type of malware, causing confidential data to be held for ransom until a ransom amount is paid. This kind of malware has increased by nearly 270% in one year alone.
How to Defend Against Them: Make sure your data is constantly backed – up so that if your files are held for ransom and are deleted, you can retrieve your files from your back-up source. You should ensure that basic security measures are set in place and all people in the company or home should be made aware of this type of threat.
- Keylogger: This type can record all data and information typed into your computer. This gives malicious users access to all passwords used for authentication purposes on various websites. However, you should also note that many employers use this to ensure that their employees are not engaging in any activity that could harm the company. Think of it as keeping a tab.
How to Defend Against Them: Simple solutions include using strong passwords and constantly changing them. In addition to this, you should use antimalware programs and a good network firewall.