With most day-to-day activities going online, there is a lot of personal information that becomes available in the form of personal data. It’s very important that you protect your classified data from hackers and cybercriminals who have evolved ingenious methods to hack into internet-enabled devices. A number of malicious software or malware exist that can get into your computer and disrupt its operating system.
Malware is a broad term that covers a wide variety of malicious codes including viruses, Trojan, spyware, adware, etc. Knowing how this malware operates is helpful in knowing how to remove them. Here’s a brief look at some types of malware:
Most people wrongly refer to any malware as being a virus. Fortunately, viruses comprise only 10% of all malware. They attach onto files and software using a contagious piece of code that infects and spreads when they are shared between computers.
This is the latest type of malware and as the name suggests, they extort money from the computer user in the form of bitcoin or cryptocurrency – to regain control of their computer.
This is a stand-alone malware that self-replicates quickly and spreads over the network by masquerading as a legitimate file. The first worm was created in 1988 as an intellectual exercise but spread rapidly throughout the world. It’s capable of destroying all information and data files saved on the drive or computer.
This is a type of malware that poses as a legitimate program but contains malicious instructions. They can be programmed for stealing your personal or financial information and eventually take over your computer system’s files. Trojans can arrive through infected emails or by visiting infected websites.
This type of malware is difficult to detect as it doesn’t insert its code into your system, instead it operates within the computer’s memory and may even hide inside a trusted tool like security applications. They form about 50% of all malware going around and examples include Operation RogueRobin which spreads through Microsoft Excel Web Query files that come attached with emails.
Adware and Spyware
Adware is an advertisement-based malware that sends advertisements to the websites most-often visited by the computer user. Though not necessarily harmful, Adware can be annoying. Spyware secretly collects information about the websites regularly visited by the user and use for future attacks. Keystrokes may also be recorded and account numbers, credit card numbers or passwords may thus be stolen and misused. Organizations often use keyloggers to spy on their employee’s activities online. Both this malware can be easily detected and removed.