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Monday, September 28, 2020

What is Malware? Everything You Need to Know

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The term malware is coined from malicious software. Malware is a software written to damage devices, steal data, and generally cause a mishap. Viruses, Trojans, spyware, and ransomware are different types of malware.

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Teams of hackers often create malware – usually, they want to either spread the malware or sell it to those who offer the most on the Dark Web.

However, there may be other reasons for creating malware; it can be used as a protest tool, a means of testing security, or even as a weapon of war between governments.

However, no matter why and how malware appears, it’s always bad news when it ends on your computer. Fortunately, this article would help prevent or remove malware from your computer.

What does Malware do?

Malware is designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user’s consent. Here is a list of the most common types of malware;

  • Viruses: Like their biological namesakes, viruses attach to clean files and infect other clean files. They can spread without control, damage underlying system functionality, and delete or damage files. Viruses usually appear as an executable file (.exe).
  • Trojans: this type of malware disguises itself as legitimate software or is hidden in genuine software that has been affected. It tends to behave discreetly and creates a backdoor to your security to allow other malware to enter.
  • Spyware: Spyware is a malware created to spy on you. It hides in the background and records what you do online, including passwords, credit card numbers, browsing habits, etc.
  • Worms: Worms infect entire networks of devices, whether local or the internet, using network interfaces. Each affected machine successively affects others.
  • Ransomware: This type of malware usually blocks your computer and files and threatens to delete everything if you don’t pay the ransom.
  • Adware: aggressive adware can reduce your security just by running ads, which can provide other malware with an easy way to enter.
  • Bonnet networks: network networks are infected computers designed to work together under the control of an attacker.

How to protect yourself from Malware

When it comes to malware, it is better to prevent your computer than looking for a cure. Fortunately, there are straightforward behaviors that reduce your chances of encountering nasty software.

  1. Do not trust strangers online: “Social engineering,” which can include strange emails, instant notifications, fake profiles, and a trivial offer of curiosity, is the first method of spreading malware. If you don’t know what it is, don’t click on it.
  2. Double-check downloads: from hacked sites to official stores, malware is often hidden around the corner. Therefore, before downloading, always check the reliability of the supplier by carefully reading the reviews and comments.
  3. Get an ad blocker: malicious advertising is on the rise, where hackers use infected banners or pop-up ads to infect your device. You can’t know which ads are bad – so it’s safer to block them with a trusted adblocker.
  4. Be careful when browsing: malware can be found anywhere, but it is most common on websites with weak security support, such as small local websites. By joining large, reputable sites, you greatly reduce the risk of encountering malware.

Unfortunately, even if you follow the tips above, you can still be infected with malware – hackers have found ways to infiltrate their viruses in every corner of the internet.

For intact security, you need to combine healthy internet habits with powerful and reliable anti-malware software, such as AVG AntiVirus FREE, which detects and stops malware before infecting your computer, Mac, or mobile device.

How to Detect Malware?

Some strains of malware are easier to detect than others. Some malware, like ransomware and adware, instantly show their presence by encrypting files or running endless advertisements.

Others, like Trojans and spyware, do their best to hide you for as long as possible, which means they might be in your system long before you realize they are there.

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And there are others, like viruses and worms, that can act secretly for a while before symptoms of your infection start to appear, such as freezing, deleted or replaced files, stops suddenly, or a hyperactive processor.

The only safe way to detect all malware before infecting your PC, Mac, or mobile device is installing the anti-malware software that comes with detection and analysis tools that can detect the malware currently on your device and block malware attempts trying to infect it.

How to remove Malware

Each form of malware has its way of infecting and damaging computers and data, so each requires a different method of removing malware. To get started, check out our virus and malware removal tips.

As a result, the best way to stay protected or remove the infection is to use anti-malware software, more commonly known as antivirus.

Malware on Android

Computers aren’t the only devices that receive malware – any device which can gain access to the internet is also at risk, and that includes your Android phone.

Although you may not hear much about it, Android attacks are on the rise, and phishing websites, fake apps, and unofficial app stores are the biggest distributors of malware.

Android malware, like malware on your computer, can do several things and cause all kinds of damage. Viruses, ransomware, botnets, and Trojans, spyware, and more are exactly what you’d expect in the smart device era!

If the device can be attacked, it can be protected, and Android phones are no exception. Download Android antivirus to make sure your phone is protected from anything that can threaten you online.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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