You have undoubtedly heard about these two terms “virus” and “malware” and maybe you are still in the circle of those people who believes these two terms are interchangeable or actually mean the same thing, if yes sit back as we take a quick exploration on these two term and what they actually mean and if no, still sit back maybe you might catch or learn something new.
In general, a malware is simply anything that was created with the primary aim of causing damage or havoc to a device (Computers and mobile devices). With this understanding, one can boldly say that Malware is a general term for all harmful computer software/codes.
Forms of Malware
Virus: destroy your information
A Computer Virus is a form of malware that copies itself and infect a PC (personal system), from one file to another file and from one PC to another PC when the file is been shared or copied.
Most computer virus usually attach them self to an executable program which upon execution, it duplicate by taking a copy of itself and merging it with other files and program thus corrupting the program or file. The effect of a computer virus includes deleting of data/files, files/data corruption, decrease in PC speed.
Adware: destroy your information
People usually mistake adware for virus, but basically adware is a another form of malware unknowingly installed on device(computers and mobile) that display unwanted advertisement to users when connected to the internet. the advert displayed can be in the form of website redirect, annoying pop-up ads, auto clicking of ads link, porn photos and videos. Do not mistake adware for some certified apps that contains adds e.g truecaller and some other free apps in google playstore.
Spyware: secretly spy on you
Spyware, just as the name implies, is another form of malware which when installed on a PC, secretly spy and collect information from that PC and send it back to who ever created it. The information may include passwords, credit card credentials, browser history, pc usage etc. This software run continuously in background and it’s not even detectable by task manager.
Since spyware wasn’t designed to cause physical harm to your pc so it can be quit hard to tell if you one installed already. In fact many people have spyware installed but they don’t know about it.
Trojan Horse: create a secrete door
This is yet another form of malware that looks like it’s doing something good but in reality, contains codes that create a secrete door to your PC. The secrete door created is used to control your pc, either directly or as part of a botnet—a network of computers also infected with a Trojan or other malicious software. Unlike virus, a Trojan horse does not spread it self but are usually installed by the user by tricking them. With a Trojan horse installed on your pc, your pc can be used to carry out malicious attack e.g. attacking a website, spamming your email list and other networks attack.
Worm: works with computer network
This is also a form of malware that is quite different in-terms of how it spread itself. It replicate without attaching itself to another program, and it rely on computer network for it to spread from one computer to another. The main harm of computer worm is that it causes some high bandwidth which slows down or break the network.
The above are few out of many forms of malware, to read more about other form of malware, follow this link https://www.veracode.com/blog/2012/10/common-malware-types-cybersecurity-101
4 ways to prevent Malware
- Make sure to have an up-to date anti-virus program running continuously which regularly scan for malware.
- Regular update of your operating system.
- Be cautious of what ever you are downloading.
- Watch out for malicious link sent to your email address