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The Different Types of Malware and How Your Computer is at Risk

There are many different types of malware which can cause problem with your digital life. Malware stands for malicious software, a generic term which covers spyware, adware, viruses, and anything else which has been created to steal your private information or cause harm to your computer.

Types of Malware

Virus

A computer virus will replicate itself and can affect your files, cause problems with your operating system, or render your computer completely unusable. Human action is required for a virus to start, and many viruses attach themselves to .exe files. As the user opens the executable file, the virus will come to life.

Many viruses are created to annoy users and make small changes such as altering wallpapers on the desktop. In other cases, viruses can lead to the complete loss of data and render computers useless. You should take care to scan executable files before running them for the first time.

To avoid viruses there are Anti virus software are available which can provide either on demand scanning or real time scanning. Always use an antivirus which have real time protection functionality.

Spyware

Spyware doesn’t harm your computer, but instead targets the user. Once running on your computer, spyware can track everything you type. Hackers can then use this information to gain access to your computer files, emails, PayPal, Bank detail or anything else you do on your computer.

Spyware is often downloaded from the internet and is activated on a user’s computer when an infected file is opened. Usually, spyware attaches itself to executable files and is installed quietly in the background. In most cases, the user won’t notice when spyware has been inadvertently installed.

To protect the users from spyware there are some dedicated anti-spyware software these they are also known as anti-malware software. Mostly all reputed antivirus software are bundled with inbuilt anti-spyware module these days. So always check this feature when you choose your protection software.

Adware

Adware will track what you do online and show advertisements. You may be forced to open a particular page every time you start your browser, or you could get a popup when you’re surfing the internet. Although no personal data is stolen, adware can significantly slow down your computer as they are demand a lot from the CPU and can also take up valuable bandwidth. In many cases, adware comes with other types of malware which can cause further damage to your computer. The unwanted ads also irritate the users. Adware are spreading widely these days as it is the easy method to earn them money.

Adware are not easy to remove as some of them comes with legitimate software by tricking the people to accept their terms of use. So mostly reputed companies can not include them as threat in their database. Though anti-malware and antivirus companies given them another name as Potential Unwanted Programs (PUP). There are some dedicated adware removal tools are also available in the market to get rid of them. Otherwise search on internet and you will find tons of sites giving instructions to remove them.

Scareware

Scareware is used to scare you into buying software you don’t need. Usually, you’ll see a popup that will tell you that your computer has hundreds of viruses or some other problems. It will then direct you to a website where you can buy software to “fix” these problems.

In most cases, your computer is fine and you don’t need to do anything. Even if you were to go ahead and buy the software, it’s likely that it wouldn’t do anything. Scareware usually contains other types of malware too which can further harm your computer. Most of scareware are result of fake tech support companies read more about it at tech support scams.

Ransomware

Ransomware is similar to scareware, but it is far more sinister. Instead of scaring you into buying something you don’t need, ransomware will take your computer hostage and demand a fee for getting it back. Files saved on your computer will be encrypted and you’ll need to pay the fee to unlock your files. Unfortunately, the encryption used is so strong that in most cases, you’ll end up having to pay the fee to regain access to your files and folders or have to lost the data. Ransomware are increasing day by day and it is the emerging and most dangerous threat.

To get a complete protection against ransomware you need to full proof your defence system and also implement good browsing habits. Though there are some dedicated tools which give protection against ransomware but we can not guarantee for 100% protection. Check the Anti-ransomware Software.

Worms

Worms work similarly to viruses, but they don’t require human intervention to replicate themselves. They can travel from one computer to the next by themselves, and this means that they are far more dangerous than your average virus.

Worms use security flaws to transmit themselves to new devices. Once installed, they can have a range of negative effects on your computer. One of the most famous worms was called ILOVEYOU. On May 4, 2000, ILOVEYOU was transmitted via email and automatically sent emails to everyone in an infected user’s contact list. The total cost in damage to businesses was estimated at $5.5 billion.

Trojans

Trojans create a backdoor which enables a hacker to take control of a computer without the user realizing. Trojans are usually downloaded from rogue websites and require some user intervention to install themselves on computers.

Once installed, a Trojan will give a hacker complete control of your computer. They can then steal your personal information, steal your files, or cause your computer to stop working. In most cases, however, Trojans are used to create botnets which are then used in denial-of-service attacks. In other instances, your computer is used as a proxy to conceal a hacker’s identity, or to send out spam.


Malware is a pervasive problem and you should use best practices to protect yourself from its many forms. Use a range of antivirus tools to ensure that your computer doesn’t become infected. Install an antivirus software. Install an Anti-Malware software with real time protection. Keep an on demand second opinion scanner to make sure you are safe from all threats.

This post was last updated on:2016-09-06 | First Published:2016-09-09

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