What Is Malware? It’s More Complex Than You Think - DataLocker Inc. | DataLocker Inc.

05.28.21

What Is Malware? It’s More Complex Than You Think - DataLocker Inc.

The different types of viruses that affect your systems are referred to as malware. It’s an umbrella term used to describe the malicious software programs that cyber-criminals use and spread to gain access to your computer. This program is specifically designed to inflict harm on individual computers, computer networks, and even servers.

What Does Malware Do?

As stated earlier, malware programs are intended to cause harm and benefit the hacker in one way or another. These programs infect the devices in a plethora of ways and can exploit confidential information from personal files. Malware programs target individuals and businesses alike, evident by the 5.6 billion malware attacks that happened in the last year.

Types of Malware

Malware programs do damage beyond simply harming your system. Infected networks can cause businesses to lose their confidential data, damage their reputation, and suffer a heavy financial loss. This, of course, depends on the type of malware employed.Malware types include:

  • Virus: A type of program that executes itself and infects other programs and files
  • Worm: A worm does not need a host. Instead, it self-replicates and does not require any human interaction
  • Trojan horse: This program deceives the user with its credible appearance. Victims activate the malware by downloading and installing the program, often via website downloads or email attachments.
  • Spyware: This type of malware gathers personal information about the device and its user without the victim’s knowledge. This information is often sold or used to access other sensitive information, such as financial accounts.
  • Ransomware: This malware encrypts the victim’s files and demands a ransom in exchange for a decryption key
  • RootKit: A program that gains administrator-level access to the user’s system following its download to perform malicious activities
  • Malvertising: This is the use of ads to deploy malware. Should a victim click one of these fake ads, malware will install on to the victim’s computer without their knowledge

How You Can Protect Yourself

As malware grows more dangerous than before, it has become crucial for businesses and individuals to invest in anti-malware programs. Research shows that the first half of 2021 alone saw 52.5 million malware (ransomware) attacks. Considering this number, you must take preventive measures to protect yourself and your business.

This makes it imperative to invest in anti-malware software. These programs detect threats and eliminate them before they can harm your computer. Another way to divert threats is to stop engaging in risky behavior online. For instance, avoid clicking on email attachments from unreliable sources or giving out personal information to untrusted domains. The combination of careful browsing with an anti-malware program can keep your systems safe from external threats.

Note that it’s easy to find anti-malware software for the average desktop or laptop, but not many USB drives have the option to add built-in anti-malware. If you’re hoping to add more security to portable drives like these, consider DataLocker’s encryption solutions.