You are always downloading. Whether it’s an application to help the browser run smoother, the new album from a favorite band, or a new computer game, downloading is a common part of life.
Unfortunately, all that downloading leaves the user vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks. Malware is a common strategy cybercriminals use for infecting computer systems and stealing information.
The criminal tricks you into clicking a link, downloading software, or opening an attachment that looks legitimate but is malicious. Fortunately, you can keep the computer and information safe using an advanced malware protection system.
MALWARE is an umbrella term for any malicious software for infiltrating a computer device without you knowing. There are various malware types, and each works differently in pursuit of some nefarious goals. However, all malware forms are sneaky and actively work against your best interests.
All computer viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses. These viruses are a common malware variant, but most people will use the two terms interchangeably. Malware and viruses are not the same things from a technical standpoint.
How Malware Works
Malware follows a basic pattern, no matter the type:
- A user downloads the malware without knowing
- User installs the code
- Malware code infects the computer
Most malware infections happen when you perform actions that download the malware. Actions include visiting a malicious website or tapping the link in an email.
Sometimes, hackers will spread malware via peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms and free software download bundles. Including malware in a popular download or torrent is also an efficient way of spreading the malicious code to more computers.
Malware can also move from one computer to another through a flash drive or USB stick firmware. Since the code is in the device’s internal hardware and not file storage, the computer doesn’t detect the malware. So, avoid inserting unfamiliar USB devices into your computer system.
Common Malware Types
Malware falls into these common categories:
- Virus – A malware format that replicates itself from one folder to another after activation on your computer. Viruses spread quickly and infect the system to steal your personal and financial information, lock the system down, or send spam.
- Worm – The code replicates itself into the target system like a virus but doesn’t spread. Instead, a worm works silently and infects the system in the background. Worms replicate themselves hundreds of times, deplete computer resources, and damage the computer.
- Trojan – A malware that disguises itself as useful software. Trojans come as anti-virus programs, games, and free updates, tricking a computer user into installing them. The trojan works in the background to install a backdoor and steal your sensitive information.
- Spyware – A software that will install itself on the system and monitor your online activities secretly. Spyware collects lots of information, including your browsing activity, passwords, and credit card numbers.
- Botnet – A device with malicious software that works with others under the attacker’s control to do harmful things without your knowledge. Botnets send out spam, carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and run phishing campaigns.
How Malware Software Works
Protect yourself against cyber threats, especially for online sports betting. Anti-malware software uses multiple strategies to protect your computers from malicious software:
- Signature-Based Malware Detection – The strategy involves using a known set of software components and their digital signatures for the identification of new malware. Software developers create signatures that detect specific malicious software and others of the same type. The approach is common for many malware variants sharing the same characteristics.
- Sandboxing – The method allows the malware software to isolate potential malicious files from the rest of your system. Sandboxing is popular for filtering out and removing malicious files before they have time to cause damage.
- Behavior-Based Malware Detection – Such anti-malware software helps computer security professionals identify, block, and remove malware quickly. The method depends on identifying the characteristics of malware.
Why Use Malware Software?
Malware software can help prevent attacks by scanning all your incoming data for signs of trouble. The software also helps in several ways, including:
- Preventing a computer user from visiting websites known for carrying malware
- Providing an insight into the scale of infection and the time it will take to remove it
- Preventing malware from spreading to other computers in a network
- Providing an insight into how the malware is compromising your network and computer
Your computer is a critical business and personal tool, so you want nothing that may damage it. Malware software is here to protect users from different malware variants. Doing what you can to educate yourself reduces the chances of becoming the victim of a cybercrime.