With how the term “malware” and “viruses” are often used interchangeably, it is no surprise that many people don’t realise that they aren’t exactly the same. Malware is a catch-all term used to describe various types of malicious software regardless of what it looks like, how it works, or how it infects devices.
On the other hand, a virus is a type of malware, and it is called a virus because of how it can self-replicate itself like how a real virus would. In other words, all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses.
That being said, you wouldn’t want to be subject to either of those two, as those will lead to nothing good for you and your devices. Sometimes, you may end up requiring a professional to fix your malware-related problems! But this begs the question: if viruses are just one type of malware, what kind of malware is out there? Let’s talk about that and what they do:
Of course, we have to talk about the infamous virus. Viruses are malicious pieces of code that can replicate themselves and spread to other computers. They can be programmed to do all sorts of things, such as disrupt the normal functioning of a computer, delete files and steal data. As for how they can be spread to various devices, viruses can be spread through email, downloads, and other means.
Worms are similar to viruses, but they can spread more quickly and cause more damage. Unlike viruses, worms do not require a host program to spread. In other words, the user doesn’t have to download infected software and start it up for worms to do damage. Worms can easily spread through networks, causing damage to multiple computers at once.
If you’ve heard the story of the Trojan Horse, then you have a good idea of how trojans work. Trojans are malicious pieces of software that masquerade as legitimate programs, but when it is opened, it starts their malicious actions. Such malware can be used to gain access to a computer system, steal data or hijack a computer.
Spies are known to collect information secretly, and this is what spyware can do. Spyware can be used to collect information about a user’s browsing habits or other activities. They can also be used to monitor a user’s activities without their knowledge or permission, which can later be used for nefarious activities.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a user’s data and then demands a ransom in order to release it. It can be used to hold a user’s data hostage for financial gain. Either way, the user won’t be able to access the encrypted data and is forced to pay the hacker in hopes that the files will be returned unencrypted. Of course, we all know where this goes, and the victim can only hope that they have a backup available.
Adware is software that is designed to display advertisements on a user’s computer. It can be used to bombard a user with unwanted advertisements or to collect information about a user’s browsing habits. While not as nefarious as other malware, adware is certainly annoying.
As you can see, malware is a serious threat to users and their data, and it is important to understand the different types of malicious software out there. Some of the most common types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware and adware. So, if you have a computer that’s unsecured, it is time to take action. Everything from educating yourself about the dangers and types of malware to investing in solutions like antiviruses can help you stay safer in the digital world. And, of course, always reach out to the professionals should you need assistance solving your malware issues.
ILL IT Solutions is a computer repair company offering its expertise to address and solve laptop-related problems. If you need malware removal services in Essex, work with us today!