Cyber-security is very important in the modern world, as the threat of cyber-attacks, viruses, and malware lurks around every corner of the internet. From emails containing links to viruses that can steal your personal information to fraudulent text messages, we should all be aware of the dangers that we can face when aimlessly browsing the internet, shopping online or even working online.
To help you understand the types of risks associated with malware and how it affects your devices, we’ve compiled this guide that addresses seven different types of malware, what it does and how you can fix it.
What Is Malware Exactly?
Before we talk about the specifics, it’s important to discuss the exact definition of malware. Malware refers to harmful software designed to gain access to, damage or disrupt a computerized system such as your laptop or mobile phone. This software is intentionally harmful and is typically used to gain access to sensitive information such as your passwords, bank account details, photos and more.
There are a few signs that your computer system has been subject to malware, including your computer slowing down, dealing with spammy ads, system crashes, unusual internet activity or changes to your passwords and browser settings. If any of these issues arise, you need to run a security check on your device as soon as possible.
Here’s a guide to some of the types of malware you may face:
Adware is a type of malicious software that automatically downloads and displays advertising materials from pop-ups and banners when you’re browsing the internet. This allows the software developer to automatically generate lots of revenue from clicks and downloads.
While this isn’t usually dangerous to sensitive information, it can seriously impact your computer’s performance, slowing down your system and internet browsers. One of the best ways to protect yourself and fix adware is to use an ad-blocker.
Ad blockers automatically block popups and banners from appearing on your browser. Alternatively, you can use premium and paid services for popular websites to stop ads from appearing at all!
Spyware is one of the more dangerous types of malware. Spyware gives the ‘spy’ (a.k.a the hacker) the ability to access sensitive details such as your user data and passwords by getting into your devices without you knowing; this allows hackers to forward this information to a third party for profit.
In some instances, spyware can be completely innocent and used for gathering data for marketing purposes. However, this can be used for nefarious purposes as well!
The best way to protect yourself against spyware is to install antivirus protection that comes with a spyware remover feature. This feature will scan all your files for spyware and prevent any data that could be harmful to your computer.
Like the Ancient Greek story, a trojan virus is a type of virus that disguises itself as a legitimate program. This lures users into downloading the virus and inviting harmful software onto their system. Trojan viruses work by hiding code in legitimate software, allowing the attacker to gain access to the user’s system.
The trojan virus can steal your passwords and sensitive information with total ease once installed. One of the ways to resolve a trojan virus is to uninstall the software, but this may be too late as attackers could have already stolen your data.
Alternatively, you can take proactive measures and install antivirus software that detects Trojans and removes them immediately.
Ransomware is one of the most dangerous and sinister types of malware and is a new phenomenon in the cryptovirology industry. Ransomware stops a user from accessing their information through encryption until the user pays the attacker a large sum of money.
We commonly see ransomware attack big businesses, as attackers see a quick opportunity to make a significant amount of money. This is harmful for a number of reasons, as the attacker can gain access to your information, delete files and can take valuable cryptocurrency trading time away from you. Ransomware is notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially if the attacker is experienced and uses very sophisticated software.
First, you’ll need to isolate the infected device to ensure the ransomware doesn’t spread. To do this, disconnect this device from the internet and all connected devices, including phones or tablets. From here, you have a few options. Your options include:
- Paying the ransom and hoping the attacker decrypts your system and files
- Using ransomware decryption tools
- Restoring your last backup
- Restoring to factory settings
As always, it’s best to be proactive and install an antivirus program that can detect ransomware and block it early.
Worms are a type of malware that replicates itself across multiple devices. The reason why worms are so dangerous is that they can remain active on an infected device whilst replicating themselves across different systems.
The main impact of worms is that they overload bandwidths, slow computers and browsers down and potentially contain payloads.
You can view these as a type of parasite that damages computers. Most antivirus software can quickly detect and remove worms, so it’s important to frequently run a security scan to ensure that you don’t have any active worms in your system.
We tend to use “virus” and “malware” as interchangeable terms, but these are very different. A virus, much like a biological virus, is a specific type of malware that reproduces and spreads by using code in programs. There are three well-known types of viruses: macro-viruses, boot record infectors and file infectors.
Macro viruses are built-into programming scripts for certain documents. When a user opens a document, it allows the virus to spread. Boot record infectors attack programs stored on a hard disk. They can access an entire system and spread to multiple devices.
File infectors use .exe or .com files and manipulate them. Users run the risk of spreading a boot record infector virus when running a compromised program. This virus type is very dangerous, as it can remain dormant in a system until it receives a signal.
Anti-virus protection is the best way to arm yourself against these types of viruses.
A rootkit is a type of malicious software that gives unauthorized access to another computer. These are very hard to detect and work to steal your sensitive information such as passwords or banking data.
Rootkit software allows hackers to deploy lots of malicious software like viruses, keyloggers and spyware with total ease! The best way to remove rootkit malware is to use antivirus software to try and detect it and purge the malware off of your device.
If You Need Help Getting Rid Of Malware On Your Computer Systems, Call Tech Masters!
If you think your computer systems might be infected with malware, and you work in the Edmonton or Calgary, Alberta area, then look no further than Tech Masters! We can help you remove your malware and protect yourself against future attacks! We provide exceptional customer service and are willing to help companies like yours deal with the effects of malware. Contact us today to see how we can help you!