Difference between Malware and Virus

These two terms are very confusing these days. What a malware or virus is. As we know that both these terms are related to malicious computer programs. So lets understand these with the short comparison between these two virus vs malware.

Malware vs Virus

Malware is anything malicious which harm the computer or the personal data.Virus is a malware which spreads from one program to another.
It includes virus, trojan, worm, spyware, adware etc.Virus is a kind of malware
After virus malware many other new kind of malware emerged like adware, spyware, ransomware, rogueware etc. Even they are more destructive then viruses, So these days term malware is more accurate to collectively define all these threats.Virus was the first type of malicious code and is very vast in nature in 90s so term virus and antivirus are more popular.


A virus is a particular kind of malware. The virus malware spreads from one program on your computer to another by replicating its source code once executed. A virus may affect several components of a computer including files, programs, and even the boot section. Once a virus attacks a file or a program, it will control it by issuing commands. This may lead to programs failing to start when a command is given.

On the other hand, malware is a term used to refer to all malicious parties that may affect the normal functioning of your computer. These include viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, nagware and so on. In a nutshell, every virus is a malware but not every malware is a virus. Malware programs can range from simple annoyances like pop-up advertising to serious computer damage like stealing passwords and data or infecting other machines on the network.

Additionally, some malware programs are designed to transmit information about your web browsing habits to advertisers or other third party interests without you knowing. Malware cannot damage the physical hardware of systems and network equipment, but it can damage the data and software residing on the equipment.

To keep away these malicious activities there are software tools which are known as Antivirus and Antimalware. Most people are confused which way to go when it comes to deciding between anti-virus and anti-malware. The ultimate question is always which one offers the best security for my computer? Check this post for difference between Antivirus and Antimalware

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