As a modern computer user, you must learn about malware because dangerous malware attacks are on the rise, especially as we spend more time in our homes and on our devices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some things you may be surprised to learn about malware:
1. Computer Viruses Are Also Malware
Many people are surprised to learn that computer viruses are also malware. In fact, any malicious software can be called malware, including computer viruses, worms, adware, ransomware, spyware, Trojan horse attacks, stalkerware, keyloggers, and other potentially unwanted programs.
2. Countless New Malware Threats Are Detected Every Day
Depending on what cybersecurity expert you listen to, anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 new malware threats are released every day. Interestingly, most of these emerging threats can’t be detected by signature-based technology.
That’s why it’s critical to use technologically advanced malware protection software, like the one from Malwarebytes, that analyzesa program’s structure, behaviour, and other attributes to recognize threatening patterns proactively.
3. Some Malware Is Mildly Irritating
Some malware, like adware, can be more annoying than dangerous. It may bombard your screen with ads, hijack your browser, redirect your web page, and collect your browsing information for marketers in order to generate revenue. However, adware can also slow down your computer, crash your browser, and breach your privacy.
4. Certain Types of Malware Can Cripple Your Computer
Malware like computer viruses and worms only exist to wreak havoc on your computer. They can delete your files, folders and even corrupt your operating system. While computer viruses spread through infected files and folders found in email attachments, discs, drives, and USB sticks, worms spread through computer networks.
5. Malware Can Breach Your Privacy
Spyware is a type of malware infection that displays very few symptoms if any. It sits silently in your computer and records your data for cybercriminals. For example, a keylogger will document all your keystrokes and send them to a threat actor, who may use the data to hack your accounts.
Stalkerware is a particularly sinister type of spyware that can use your device’s camera, microphone, and GPS, to help a stalker keep track of you. Jealous partners, ex-lovers, stalkers, predators, and others are known to use stalkerware.
6. Malware Can Hurt You Financially
The most obvious way malware can hurt you financially is through the loss of time. It can take several hours to fix a computer corrupted by a virus — you may need to hire a specialist for help.
However, some malware is designed to hurt you financially. For example, hackers can use spyware to access your financial information and clean out your bank accounts. Likewise, hackers can use ransomware to lock your system until you pay them through an untraceable online currency.
It’s a good idea to learn about malware from a reliable cybersecurity company in order to protect yourself from online attacks. Aside from using advanced antivirus software, you must update your operating system regularly to plug security holes, tighten your network security, and stay clear of suspicious emails, websites, and links.
These are six things you may not have known about malware. With the right information, tools, and practices, you can stay safe from all kinds of malware.