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Main Types of Malware and their Prevention

04/03/2019
by Cathy Houghton

Introduction

Malware or malicious software is coded with the sole purpose of causing harm to a system or network. The big problem with malware is the fact that it is continuously evolved to be detrimental to a protected system to allow the attacker access to sensitive information. Another issue with malware is the degree of sophistication that it has reached and keeps reaching. Malware can be present on a system or computer without being spotted for long periods of time and can disguise itself as safe software.Since malware is continuously developed to sidestep precautionary measures, which makes them incredibly difficult to deal with. Many companies spend a lot of resources on protecting themselves from malware and the adverse effect it has on their systems. Let’s take a look at the types of malware and prevention.

Types of Malware

Viruses

A computer virus is a code that spreads from files or emails. This malicious code copies itself and can do incredible damage to your device.

Adware

Adware is the annoying pop-up ads you sometimes see when you are online. These ads are not as detrimental as some other malware you find. When you click on these pop-ups, however, other types of malware may find their way onto your system.

Worms

Similar to viruses, the worm also spread from files or emails. Worms are self-replicating programmes that can reduce your computer’s performance and occupy a lot of memory. Worms can also spread through networks and can be a big problem, especially in corporate settings.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse or “Trojan” is a particularly difficult piece of malware to deal with. A Trojan horse disguises itself as a safe and normal piece of software that is often downloaded by the users themselves. Attackers often use Trojan horses to gain remote access to an infected computer and to gain sensitive information like login details or passcodes for online banking profiles. They can also monitor user activity like watching their screens by means of Trojan Horses.

Rootkit

A rootkit is a form of malware that enables an attacker to access or control a computer remotely. This allows an attacker to steal sensitive information, reconfigure system settings, or control the computer as part of a botnet. The best protection against rootkits involves regular maintenance and patching of system and software vulnerabilities.

Prevention

There are many things that you can do to protect yourself against malware. Many companies and individuals resort to all of the precautionary measures to minimise their risk of being attacked by means of malware.

Install anti-virus and firewall software. There are many different anti-virus products available. To ensure maximum protection, install and run software that offers protection against all types of malware.

Keep software up to date. The best way to do this is to enable automatic updates. These updates contain vulnerability patches that develop as the different types of malware develop.


Don’t open or download files or emails that seem spammy, strange or that doesn’t come from a familiar source.


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