What do Malware Programs do?
Published: February 14, 2022
If you own a computer and use the internet frequently, you have probably come across the term "malware." So, what is malware?
Malware is a type of software created to cause harm to computers and extract important information from them. Cybercriminals, those who use computers and the web for criminal purposes, will use this type of software to steal money from their victims.
Malware can also come in the form of viruses that will infect your computer and deliver any vital information from your computer back to the cybercriminal.
Often malware can trick a victim into providing their information which the cybercriminal can use to steal their identity. They can also use it to steal any banking and credit information.
There are many ways malware and viruses are spread, such as e-mail attachments, advertisements on websites, imitation software installations, infected apps and USB drives, fake website links, and even text messages.
Malware comes in many forms, and each one is responsible for a specific activity.
- Viruses: One of the more common types of malware, viruses often come in e-mail attachments. Once the attachment is opened, the virus infects the computer.
- Scareware: This type of malware is used to scare computer users into thinking their computer is infected, prompting them to click on a link to download a program to get rid of the virus. Once the victim has downloaded the fake program, criminals have access to their information.
- Spyware: As the name suggests, this program is used to spy on computer users, track their internet usage and gain information without the user's knowledge.
- Adware: This type of malware pushes unwanted advertisements, often in exchange for using a program without paying for it.
- Ransomware: Cybercriminals who are looking to make money often use ransomware. This type of malware installs onto a computer and locks it. The criminal will then demand money, usually crypto coins, from the victim to restore access.
- Worms: These viruses enter the computer by locating a security weakness and can infect other machines without user interactions.
- Trojan horses: Disguising themselves as harmless programs, trojan viruses can steal important information, crash computers, and spy on users. In some cases, trojans can even be used to attack other systems.
- Fileless: Considered one of the more challenging viruses, fileless malware uses real programs to infect computers. They leave no traces during viruses scans, making them difficult to remove.
The following signs that your computer is infected are:
- Slow computer performance
- Difficulty shutting down and starting your computer
- Browser redirects
- Frequent pop-up ads
- Warnings your computer is infected, followed by a message to pay to have them removed
There are many ways to protect your computer from malware, such as.
- Continually update your operating system
- Use an anti-virus and malware program from a reputable company.
- Never click on suspicious links
- Be careful of e-mails asking you for personal and banking information,
- Only download apps from official stores
- Always be aware when browsing the internet.
If you suspect your computer is infected, run a virus scan. If a virus is detected and you're having trouble removing it, contact The Computer Geek.
We can help you with all of your computer needs, including viruses. Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (905)426-1784.