Although the sources of this harmful software vary, their target is the same; your data.
Malicious software intends to harm a computer’s operations, data, and security. This human-made software breaches your system’s security walls and attacks your important files, which can be misused later. The major types of malware include worms, trojan horses, viruses, and spyware.
When you download an unchecked file or proceed with an unprotected link, they might contain malware planted by the hackers. Since hackers are always on the lookout for soft, easy-to-approach targets, no computer is 100% safe from their attacks. You need a dependable anti-malware or other preventive measures (like secure operating) to shelter your system from these dangers.
How does a computer get malware?
Attackers/hackers utilize various means to access a computer, which includes both physical and virtual modes. USB devices are the major sources of transporting malicious software between systems, as they’re often used to share other files.
Similarly, phishing emails, infected links, and unsafe websites also contain malware. Once a system gets infected by malware, the authors, i.e., attackers, can read and analyze the files present in your computer. This loophole is an ongoing hazard for computer users because malware is present in various forms and for multiple reasons; the main thing common between these types is your computer’s vulnerability.
What are the types of malicious software?
Malicious software comes in different forms, each with unique characteristics and threats. Let’s list down the main types of malware your computer can come across:
This malware travels by both physical and online modes, exposing your system’s security to various hazards. If your computer often comes in contact with USBs and other devices, it’s most likely to get virus-infected.
Worms can self-replicate, which makes them hard-to-detect. This malware is solely controlled by the author/owner and replicates super-fast to spread across your computer.
This type is the most significant alarm to your sensitive data since it’s designed to scrape your online activity. Once this malware is launched in a system, it reads and copies critical data later used by the attacker.
This highly-specialized malware encrypts a computer’s critical information, making the user prone to several risks. However, as this malware only attacks the marked user, it isn’t frequently found.
The trojan horse appears legitimate and safe software, which accesses your computer through different downloads/installations. But when left unattended, this software easily breaks through your computer’s security layers.
Is malware always dangerous?
This question’s answer depends upon the software in question. General and abundantly found malicious ware aren’t much harmful to your privacy, as they can be tackled with a few vigilant steps. But when a hacker/attacker plants strong malware on your device, it’s extremely harmful. A powerful malware can breach, detect, copy, and delete important files from your computer, eventually supporting the attacker’s intentions.
How can you prevent malware attacks?
Keeping these security risks at bay is vitally important for your data. You can install reliable anti-malware software on your computer and prevent a multitude of cyberattacks. Moreover, observing a safe browsing/interacting behavior can protect your computer from physical malware transfers. Update your computer’s security walls, and protect your important data from ill-intended malware.