Published: 17/01/2022


What is malware?

Malware, short for malicious software, is a term used to describe programs or scripts created with the intent of causing harm to a user’s computer.

Types of malware


A Trojan horse program, is one of the most common types of malware,a malicious program that claims or pretends to be something else to trick you into installing it. Most Trojans are disguised as useful programs but will contain harmful software such as keyloggers which can steal your passwords and other confidential information.


A virus is a program or piece of code that attaches itself to another file and spreads throughout computer systems without the user’s knowledge. There are two types of viruses, known as “boot sector” and “file” viruses; boot sector viruses reside in the computer’s startup boot sectors while file viruses are attached to other executable files.


Spyware is a form of malware that monitors your computer activities and sends information about them back to its source, often without you even knowing it occurs or what data has been gathered. This can take the form of “keyloggers” which track every keystroke that happens on your keyboard as well as many other things such as recording Skype conversations and recording Internet browsing history.


Ransomware is malware that encrypts all the files located on the infected computer’s hard drive, so they become unusable until a ransom is paid by the owner to have them decrypted again using specialized software tools.


A worm is a type of malware that replicates itself and spreads either by email, instant messaging or file-sharing networks. It does not need to be attached to another executable file or placed inside an archive to infect your PC – it can run on its own.


Botnets are large networks of internet-connected devices infected by malware, usually consisting of computers running software such as Microsoft Windows. The compromised computers are fraudulently controlled by the attacker who effectively has control over thousands of machines at once for criminal purposes such as sending out spam emails, launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, etc.

Logic bombs

Logic bombs are sets of instructions on a website’s server that cause it to perform a task or trigger an event when specific conditions are met. A logic bomb will often contain code that is designed to execute malicious activity such as deleting files, stealing data, etc.


rootkit is a set of tools and programs utilized by attackers to take complete control over your computer system and completely maintain their presence undetected for as long as they wish without your knowledge. They can be used both by cybercriminals and government agencies to spy on users and potentially steal sensitive data such as passwords and credit card numbers.

How to protect yourself from malware

There are several things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming infected with malware, such as:

  • Using antivirus software which can detect and remove most types of malware and keeping it up to date at all times
  • Using a firewall on your computer or mobile device (if available) that blocks unauthorized access attempts by external sources such as the internet and network connections.
  • Avoiding using public computers while using the internet unless they have been verified by security professionals as free from any type of security threats.

How to protect your business from malware

Businesses should implement a continuously updated internet security system that will monitor all the connections coming into and going from the organization’s network as well as its users’ behavior. This includes:

  • Inbound security – This involves blocking any suspicious or unauthorized traffic before it enters your network, whether it comes from outside using personal firewalls, web-based email filtering services, email spam filters, or other types of security appliances.
  • Outbound security – This involves monitoring outgoing traffic to ensure nothing inappropriate leaves the network. This is done by devices such as content monitors and firewalls on both servers and clients within your office premises.

Frequently asked questions about malware

Which type of malware is the most dangerous?

The worst type of malware you can find on the internet today is ransomware viruses which encrypt all your data and render them unreadable unless you pay an often-hefty sum to the attacker. This could affect every computer connected to the same network as yours, rendering it useless until someone decrypts your files for you.

How do I know if my device has been infected with malware?

If any suspicious activity begins occurring on your devices such as an increase in CPU usage, unusual electronic noises coming from it, or unwelcome pop-up messages appearing repeatedly then there’s a good chance that one or more programs are running without your consent. You should also look for other signs such as high internet usage and network activity, even if your computer is not connected to the internet at all, as malware can use it as a zombie machine to carry out DDoS attacks, for example.

What should I do if my device has been infected with malware?

If you think that one or more programs are running without your consent, then before anything else you should disconnect it from any networks (including wireless ones) and turn it off completely. Next, try to identify the program which caused the suspicious behavior by looking in Task Manager –> Processes –> Details –> Name, and Google it to find out what type of software it is. If you know how to use advanced anti-malware tools, try to remove the malware.

How do you know if a website is infected with malware?

If you notice suspicious activity on websites such as abnormally long load times or links on the page changing every time you visit it then there’s a good chance that one or more of its webpages are either compromised by scripts written in JavaScript which could allow attackers to perform several actions without your knowledge or can cause automated browser exploitation using JavaScript which allows attackers to gain access to it and use it for malicious purposes. If any of these symptoms occur when you try to access this website, then close the tab immediately and report it to Google or your internet security software provider.

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