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January 3, 2022

What is Malware and the 4 Main Types

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Have you seen the following on the news recently?

“Company ABC was crippled with a ransomware attack and they can’t access their systems. The cybercriminals responsible want $1 Million dollars from the company in the form of bitcoin to release access to their systems.”

Malware attacks such as this are becoming more commonplace nowadays because our society is very reliant on technology.

Malware attacks such as these is going to become more prevalent as companies and organizations grow their technological footprint.

Malware can devastate a company’s operation so they have no way of functioning or doing business.

Malware attacks can also impede on your personal life if an attacker decides to attack your home computer or a user account on a website, and potentially steal sensitive information and data.

In this article, we will explore what Malware is and the 4 main types.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

What is Malware?

The term Malware is short for “Malicious Software”.

Malware is a file or code delivered over a network (usually the World Wide Web) to a computer, remote server, or website that has the ability to leak sensitive information, gain unauthorized access, lockout users, or just cause chaos to a network or computer.

If you have never been hit with malware, consider yourself lucky.

Malware can freeze, crash, or slow down your computer or website, have your sensitive information compromised, and unleash a whole hose of negative consequences that can be really damaging.

If you ever experience any of these symptoms above, run an antivirus program to clean up your PC or WordPress site. Or if you are totally locked out, contact a security professional to take care of it for you.

Needless to say, malware sucks & can cost time & money to remove.

Now let’s talk about the 4 main types of malware.

Ransomware

Ransomeware is a form of malware that locks users or organizations out of their computers or websites, and in turn the cybercriminals will demand payment from the victims so they can regain access.

Ransomware attackers usually target large companies because they assume that these companies have the money to pay the ransom.

Ransomware attacks have been occurring at a high rate as of late and show no signs of stopping soon.

Trojans

trojan horse

A Trojan is a type of malware that disguises itself to be a legit & safe file…when it’s actually not.

People download programs that contain trojans because they “seem” legitimate, but unfortunately, they are not.

To avoid downloading a potential trojan, always verify if the file is coming from a trusted source. If it’s not, don’t click on the link.

Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware that installs itself on your computer or device without your permission and monitors your online activities, which websites you visit, and all the while collecting all sorts of sensitive information.

Spyware not only collects sensitive information and monitors your online activities, but it can also activate your webcam & microphone and record you!

Scary isn’t it!

Virus

computer-virus

Last but not least, the most common & popular type of malware is…drum roll please…the good ole’ Virus!

A computer virus is a type of malware that infects your computer then replicates and spreads to other computers causing damage such as corrupting files, stealing passwords, spam emailing your contacts, crashing your machine, etc.

Viruses have been around since the beginning of the internet and will keep evolving throughout the years. The only way to keep yourself protected is to use a reputable antivirus program that will scan your computer and let it remove anything that seems shady.

In Conclusion

Malware is a vicious type of cyberattack that can wreak havoc on businesses and in people’s lives.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a malware attack is to avoid clicking on suspicious links or links from unverified and untrusted sources. If you see a suspicious email, link, or something that raises red flags, do not click on it. 

Also use an antivirus program such as Malwarebytes to scan your computer at regular intervals to check for viruses and suspicious programs, and to get rid of them.

That’s all, for now, folks, I hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for stopping by and I will see you next time!

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Mike


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