The term malware is shortened form of malicious software and it refers to any piece of software that is designed with the intents of harming data, devices, or people. The malicious intent behind this type of software is usually to steal your private information and manage to access your personal data somehow by creating a backdoor to your computer.
In today’s world of technology, it is absolutely important to stay safe and protected against anyone or any sort of software that is trying to steal your data or money or harm you in any other way. One of the best ways to stay safe is to have enough knowledge about the potential dangers and how to protect yourself against them. In this article, I will give you a guide on everything you need to know about malware and ways to protect yourself against it.
What are the common types of malware?
In order to be able to detect or deal with any sort of infection in your computer system, the first step is to detect the type of it. Here is a list of common types of malicious software:
- Virus: Viruses attach themselves to clean files and infect them. They spread across a network and they damage a system by deleting or corrupting files.
- Trojans: It’s the kind of malware that disguises itself as a legitimate software and it aims at creating backdoor discretely.
- Spyware: It is a malicious software designed to spy on you. It hides in the background and takes note of what you are doing online and collect your personal information.
- Worms: Worms aim at disabling a network by replicating themselves over and over across a network.
- Ransomware: It is also referred to as scareware and it locks down your device and threatens you with your personal information unless you pay the ransom.
- Adware: An adware might not be dangerous in its own nature by it can make the way for spreading malicious software.
There might be other types of software which are designed with malicious intent of stealing or harming personal information, but the ones listed above are the most common types of such software.
How does a malware infection happen?
There are different ways through which your computer or any other device may get infected by a malicious software. Most of the times, it is you yourself that make the way for this type of software to get into your computer. Here are the common ways.
Sometimes, security vulnerabilities in your system can make the way for malicious software to get into your computer. Outdated operating systems, add-ons, and web browsers are an easy target for malware.
Most of the times, this type of malicious software is installed on your device by you yourself! Downloading applications from unknown sources can greatly expose you to the risks of the harmful software.
In general, software downloads are most common way through which a hacker can trick you into installing malware on your device. You might be sitting at your desk an downloading a simple image, video, or audio file but in reality, you are downloading an executable file that can harm your computer.
How to protect yourself against malware?
In order to stay safe from the harms of malware, the first and most important thing to remember is to take cyber security measures serious. A well-protected device can stay safe from the majority of virus attacks.
The most trustable way to ensure your safety against any sort of malware is by using an effective antivirus or antimalware that constantly looks for malicious software on your computer and alerts you in case any threat is detected. Mobile antivirus applications are also a good solution for smart phone security.
Aside from using protections against malicious software, another way to stay safe is to change your behavior. Stop opening messages or emails from people or organizations that you do not know or trust. And if you know the sender, make sure you know what you are downloading. Also, when you are trying to download a file or application, pay close attention to the download URL and make sure that you are downloading from a trustworthy source.
Also, remember to update your operating systems whenever an update is available. An up to date system is designed to stay safe from the most recent types of malware.