What is Malware and How to Protect Against It

What is malware?

What is Malware?

Most of us know what malware is and how it can impact us if we’re not careful enough online. As malicious software with only one purpose, malware can cause a mess and sometimes even induce severe financial consequences. Despite this, many online users still don’t pay that much attention until its too late. This detailed and concise page on malware will help you get familiar with the most common types of malware and help you learn how to prevent it from affecting you.

Most Common Types of Malware

  • Viruses – Computer viruses are the most common type of malware, and are often what most people call every malicious program. Pure computer viruses are mostly a thing of the past, since hybrid malware replaced them.
  • Trojans –Trojans have been around even longer than viruses and are probably responsible for the most damage out of all other malicious software. What makes Trojans different from other types of malware is that the user must execute the action.
  • Worms – Dating back almost three decades ago and the first email scams, worms are one of the oldest types of malware. Since it spreads by self-replicating, the work is one of the most devastating forms of malware that can quickly affect a large number of people.
  • Ransomware – Unlike most types of malware on this list, ransomware doesn’t operate stealthily. The main goal of ransomware is to steal and encrypt the user’s data until the affected party decides to pay off the requested amount.
  • Adware –Adware is a malware that attempts to redirect you to a compromised site or tries to expose you to malicious advertising through seemingly legitimate product advertising.
  • Malvertising – Unlike adware, which presents you with fake malicious ads, malvertising is the use of legitimate ads and sources to infect the user with malware. The danger of malvertising is that it can appear even on reliable sites.
  • Spyware –This type of malicious software is a common tool of hackers who want to gain access to passwords or valuable intellectual property. By mapping keystrokes and specific activities, hackers have an open door to the user’s entire device.
  • Malware Hybrids – Nowadays, malware is often a combination of at least two types of the eight ones above. The most common malware hybrids include Trojan-worm and virus-worm malware.

How to Know if your Device is Infected

Protect against malicious software

Now that we’ve gotten all of our malware classifications straight, it’s also helpful to know how to spot malicious software. Here are a few useful tips on how to detect malware:

  • Performance slowdown – regardless of the type of malware, one of the most prominent telltale signs that your device is infected. This is because malware tends to consume the gulp of your device’s memory, leaving you with limited resources to work with. Performance slowdown is often so significant that it’s straightforward to spot. It makes no difference whether you’re browsing the internet or using an installed program or game.
  • Overall unreliability – Another telltale sign your device tries to present you with when infected if the total unreliability of performance. This includes constant crashes, freezes, blue screens, loss of disk space, or suspicious increase in Internet activity.
  • New Programs – A more obvious sign of a malware infection could also be new extensions, toolbars, or plugins taking up space on your browser. Browser homepage changes are also a common thing, as are errors in updating software.

We should also mention that even if everything is running smoothly on your device, you shouldn’t get too comfortable when accessing unfamiliar sources. Robust malicious software can infect your equipment so deep that it can steal sensitive files and information without you even noticing it.

How to Protect Yourself From Malware

When it comes to this issue, prevention is the best way to deal with it. Be careful about which sites you visit and avoid clicking on any ads or pop-ups. If you spend most of your online time on your mobile device, only download the apps and programs from legitimate stores, such as Google Play. Always check for reviews before downloading and make sure to go through required permissions before installing.

Finally, to keep your personal and financial information secure, get yourself a trusted and reliable anti-virus program. Additionally, look for a good anti-malware program that offers reliable protection. It should include remedies that can help you fix potential issues immediately. For maximum online security and privacy, consider pairing an anti-virus program with a VPN service. At ZoogVPN, we offer you a complete all-around VPN service at the most affordable rates on the market. Enjoy unrestricted internet without having to worry about your online safety anymore.