5 Common Types of Malware You Should Know About

Any software designed to damage a network, server, or computer is called malware. This software can vary considerably in terms of the method of attack, including the more famous “computer virus.” Different malware is classified by their spread and invasion but can all be equally damaging in nature.

Knowing how these different types of malware perform and function can help keep your computer safe, including your personal information. Those implementing malware are likely to use multiple programs to operate, as this will often build resilience with attacks. To help safeguard your information, here are five common types of malware, how they can impact your technology, and how to safeguard your information against them.

Computer viruses

The computer virus works by getting into the system files of a host computer and modifies the system files. This code infects other files on the system, executing malicious code. Currently, the virus is the only form of malware that infects and changes the files on a computer. While the computer virus was originally a significant problem for networks and systems, modern virus protection has significantly improved online security. As such, the virus is the smallest percentage of attacks compared to other types of malware.

How can you remove viruses from the computer?

Many times, viruses can be difficult to remove once it’s on the computer. As such, the most common method of removal is quarantining the infected files or having to delete them off the system completely.

 One of the easiest ways to deal with computer viruses is through prevention, not removal. Make sure to have a high-quality antivirus program on the computer. Likewise, minimize downloads online and through email, especially if you don’t personally know the sender. Always make sure that your computer is backed up (if your computer does get a virus).

Trojans

This type of malware can be difficult to detect for the average user. It will often look and behave like legitimate software on the computer but will contain malicious code. A trojan will need to have an action executed in order for it to work. Cybercriminals will often disguise this program as a genuine program, often an antivirus program found in pop-up ads. This code is designed for backdoor access to the user’s system, gaining access to sensitive data or network activities. Compromised data can put the user at risk, giving third-party access to personal details like banking, government websites, or other personal information.

How Can You remove trojans from the computer?

To successfully remove trojans from your computer, you need to first reboot the device and enter Safe Mode. Disabling startup items on the computer that don’t come from trusted sources is a quick way to remove some trojans. It’s essential to understand which programs are from the system and which are trojans; removing the wrong files can seriously damage the functioning of your computer. Having a high-quality antivirus program is another decent way to get rid of trojans. It’s always a wise idea to run a free background check if you happen to have a trojan on any of your devices. This check will highlight any suspicious activity, including any compromised information.

Spyware

This type of malware is known to come from adware, which can include spoofing emails, terms, and services of “third-party affiliates,” or free software add-ons. When a user downloads the infected program, it begins tracking the activities of users on the device. These activities include keystrokes, pin codes, personal messages, and payment-related content. It’s always essential to ensure that anything downloaded comes from a reputable source, including email downloads. As spyware can also be downloaded when accepting the terms and services of legitimate websites, it’s essential to read all documentation carefully before agreeing to the terms.

How to get rid of spyware:

If you’ve noticed your computer has started getting slower than usual, you may have spyware on the system. Before trying to remove any spyware from the computer, always disconnect from the internet. This disconnect includes any WIFI connections or any ethernet cables. Go into the programs Add/Remove section and find the program. Simply remove the program. Often these will be web browser add-ons or software you don’t remember downloading. Always confirm your information is safe and secure by running a background check when finished.

Ransomware

In recent years, ransomware has grown in popularity considerably. This malware works by encrypting data on the system and demanding payment to regain access. Often, ransomware will require payment in the form of gift cards or cryptocurrency, as they’re untraceable. Unfortunately, no guarantee paying the ransom will unlock the data or send the decryption key to victims. This malware is often installed through malicious email downloads, which locks users out of their system shortly after download.

How to get rid of ransomware:

For victims of ransomware, three options are typically available. The first involves paying the criminal the ransom in hopes of having the computer decrypted. This method doesn’t always work, as some criminals will simply delete the files after payment has been received. Restoring the computer to factory settings is the second option of resolving ransomware. Finally, attempting to remove the malware can be tried. If the ransomware has a screen-lock functionality, users are safest to attempt loading the system in Safe Mode.

Bots

While this type of malware is technically a hybrid, bots can complete and execute tasks remotely. While many bots exist for legitimate reasons, they can also complete criminal actions. Typically, bots are used to break into user accounts, send spam, scan for contact information, or do other similar activities. To hide the attack source, botnets (a collection of bots acting as a swarm) can create swarms. These swarms allow large-scale attacks on networks.

How to get rid of bots:

This type of malware is another case of prevention over cure. Having high-quality antivirus software that includes phishing scams is the first step in keeping your device safe. Should your device already have bot malware, using a bot removal tool or professional service is likely the easiest removal method. Typically, bot malware is difficult to detect due to its program’s design. Make sure you perform monthly scans of your system with the antivirus program.

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