The word malware is just the fusing of two separate words: malicious software. It is a piece of code that is written for the sole intention to destroy and corrupt a system, to steal credentials and important information, to spy, and in general, make a mess of your system.
The types of malware are quite a few and include the likes of Trojan, ransomware, viruses, and spyware. The creators of such tools of digital destruction are hackers who are trying to incite money or to steal data that are misused or used to blackmail and ask a ransom for. Whatever be the reason it is created for, one thing is sure-malware are not there to make merry!
What Do Malwares Do?
The things that malwares do are varied and the list can be quite endless. Nevertheless, they fall into one of the following categories in one shape or form:
- Trojans: similar to the Trojan horse of Greek war used for the invasion of the city Troy: Greeks made a huge wooden horse as a gift and hid soldiers within them to attack the city once inside. Trojan malware will disguise itself as legitimate software and once it has been downloaded, it will create a back door in the security to let other malware in.
- Viruses: These spread uncontrollably and infect core system files that are otherwise clean, corrupting them in the process.
- Spyware: The malware that is used to ‘spy’ on the user. It hides as a background task and collects information about your credentials, passwords, social security number, etc by means of a keystroke logger or otherwise.
- Ransomware: The malware that literally locks down your system and threatens to erase it all unless you pay a ‘ransom’-hence the name.
- Botnets: These are more malicious and consist of a group of infected systems that works together under the guise of an attacker.
How To Not Fall Prey To Malware?
- To begin with, don’t try making friends on the internet. This means accepting emails from strange sources and fake profiles that incite information can carry and deliver malware to your system. The saying goes, if you don’t know it, don’t click it!
- Make sure that the sources from which you are downloading are credible. Most of the pirate sites act as booths for you to take your ‘free malware’. So make sure that you know where you are downloading stuff off the internet.
- Get an ad-blocker, as most of the malware comes as a result of spam and pop up ads that redirect the user to another site. It is called Malvertising.
- Get a top-rated malware protection or at the very least, get a free antivirus anti malware software and prevent the mishap from ever occurring.