What is malware?

Malware, short for malicious software, refers to any intrusive software developed by cybercriminals (often called hackers) to steal data and damage or destroy computers and computer systems. It encompasses a wide range of harmful programs and code that can wreak havoc on your devices. Here are some common types of malware:

  1. Viruses: These malicious programs attach themselves to legitimate files and spread by infecting other files. They can cause data corruption, system crashes, and unauthorized access.
  2. Worms: Worms are self-replicating programs that spread across networks without user intervention. They can overload servers, slow down networks, and compromise security.
  3. Trojan viruses: Disguised as legitimate software, Trojans trick users into installing them. Once inside, they can steal sensitive information, create backdoors, or launch attacks.
  4. Spyware: Spyware secretly monitors your activities, collects personal information, and sends it to a third party. It can lead to identity theft and privacy breaches.
  5. Adware: Adware displays unwanted advertisements, often in the form of pop-ups. While not as harmful as other malware, it can be annoying and impact system performance.
  6. Ransomware: Ransomware encrypts your files and demands payment (usually in cryptocurrency) to unlock them. It can cause significant data loss and financial harm.

How can you tell if you have a malware infection? Look out for these signs:

  • Slowed-down computer: Malware can consume system resources, making your computer sluggish.
  • Annoying ads: Unexpected pop-up ads are often associated with adware.
  • Unusual behavior: If your device behaves strangely or crashes frequently, it might be infected.
  • Unauthorized access: Malware can grant unauthorized access to your data or system.
  • Data loss or encryption: Ransomware may lock your files or demand a ransom for decryption.

Remember to protect your devices with reliable security software and stay vigilant against suspicious activity! 😊

For more information, you can refer to the following sources.

1. MalwareBytes

 

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