Malware is a short term for ‘malicious software’. It is a type of software which is coded to enable a hacker to launch cyber attacks on a computer to gain access to it, corrupt its files, or utilize its resources for nefarious purposes.
In today’s digital age, the use of malware has become very common and a large number of malicious programs are being created every day to wreck havoc on business and financial systems across the globe.
This is the reason why an increasing number of businesses, both small and larger, are turning toward professional IT support services that can help them safeguard their digital presence.
What are the major types of malware that infect computers?
There are various kinds of malware that can deteriorate your computer’s performance and also enable hackers to access your sensitive information. Some of the most well-known types of malware include:
Viruses are computer programs that are designed to damage computer systems or adversely affect their performance. There are several types of viruses that can be found online, such as Trojans, worms, and many others.
Rootkits are programs that are used to hide other malware and viruses. They are high in stealth and affect the innermost processes of the computer.
A computer that has been compromised by a malware attack is called a bot. Once the hacker has remote access to a computer, he/she can control it and exploit its resources for devious purposes.
Bots can also be used to launch attacks on other computers. Many bots can be used simultaneously to create a botnet for overwhelming the defenses of computer systems.
Worm programs infect computer networks and can be used to transfer malware components onto other computers.
Trojans try to trick people into thinking that they have downloaded a legitimate program onto their computers, but once activated, they can damage computer files and cause loss of data.
It is a software type that is used to extract information from computers without the owners knowing that their valuable data is being stolen.
They are similar to spyware and help criminals collect sensitive data.
What is malware commonly used for
Cyber crime has become highly organized and hackers regularly target individuals and business for ulterior motives. Most of the malware produced are for these malicious purposes:
- Earning money through forced advertising by the use of malicious programs classified as adware
- Illegally accessing personal or financial data through spyware
- Blackmailing people by holding their data hostage using ransomware
How can you combat malware?
Malware can be effectively combated by using good antivirus software, like VIPRE, McAfee, Avast, or Norton. A professional online IT support service can also enable you to boost your cyber defenses.
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