Short for malicious software, malware is designed to enter your machine and interrupt or reduce your productivity.
There are several types of malware, each one works differently from the other, pursuing its goals. Despite this, in general, malware has two basic characteristics: it is discreet and actively acts against the users’ interests.
Are malware and viruses the same thing?
These two types of attackers are often confused as they are aimed at harming your machine. However, all computer viruses are malware, but not all malware is a virus. In general, malware is used as a form of protest to test some system or network security.
Learn about the 5 most common types of malware:
Viruses: are codes that infect clean files and spread to damage core functions of a system and delete or corrupt files.
Ransomware: A type of malware that blocks or limits access to certain devices or files, until the user pays a “ransom.”
Spyware: Used to monitor a person’s activities, this malware collects data about a device, user, or network and transmits it to the attacker, who may use this information for fraudulent purposes.
Adware: In order to generate revenue for the developer, this malware displays unwanted advertisements such as free games. Unlike others, most adware requires legal installation, with the user’s consent, so it is important to read carefully what is installing on your computer or browser.
Trojan Horse: Looks a lot like legitimate software, but is a vehicle used to infiltrate a device and, once activated, in addition to corrupting files, download additional malware.
Extra: Botnet: despite not being a type of malware, a network of computers or codes can transmit or execute malware. Attackers infect a network of computers with malicious software known as “bots,” giving the virus developer access to massive processing power, which can later be used to send spam and fake advertisements and coordinate attacks.
How to prevent malware installation?
The best tip is: always have original and efficient software installed to protect your machine. These software actively works and sends alerts when accessing or installing a suspicious file that could cause future harm. In addition, you can use these programs to “scan” your device frequently and discard files that weigh on your machine or pose a future threat.
Do you know why you shouldn’t use pirated software? Because it doesn’t guarantee full protection. In addition, you want to protect your computer, but installing this type of program can actually open the door to threats, as it doesn’t have the vendor’s guarantee of provenance and efficiency.
How to remove malware from my machine?
Although prevention is the best way to protect your device, malware may still manage to infect your machine, after all, they are smart. A golden tip is not to use the antivirus that comes installed on your computer as a way to detect malware. Think about it, if it were efficient, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, right?
So choose the software that best suits you and follow the step-by-step recommended by it to clean your machine and remove files that present suspicious threats. Read everything carefully before installing the antivirus, and make sure you buy your license from a reputable website.
As your browser can also be corrupted and hamper navigation with excessive display of ads or prevent you from performing some actions, take the time to “fix” it. Do you know when you open the browser and the search engine has a suspicious face that you don’t know or is not popular? So, the bad news: this could be the result of the – successful – action of malware. Then access the settings and return the browser to the original settings.
Check out these two extra tips:
Try to keep a backup of your most important files in case you need to reinstall your operating system or something. Cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, for example, are great options.
Prevent attacks by keeping your computer clean and always monitor your accounts, such as emails, banking, and social networks in general.