If you download software from the internet, you need to know about malware. Malware come in many forms and can be hard to spot when installing new software. Hackers are smart and they’re using various forms of malware to break websites on even the most secure platforms to trick users into installing malicious software. Here is what you need to know about malware, the forms of malware and how to protect against malware.

Malware Photo

So, what exactly is malware?

By definition, malware is malicious software creaked by hackers. Usually hackers use it to make money, steal information on devices, or test security. There are several types of this malicious software and they all have various functions, but any type of malware that ends up on your device is bad news, as is threatens the security of your files and information.

Common forms:

Malware comes in various forms, here are its most common forms.

  • Virus– Viruses attach themselves to files and then inflect other files. Viruses spread uncontrollably and can damage systems by deleting and corrupting files.
  • Trojans– This type is usually downloaded when installing software, as it disgusts itself as software. Trojans, when installed, allow other malware to enter your system and created large security breaches.
  • Spyware– This type is built to access your passwords, browser history, credit card information and other secure information. Some spyware is programed to access your cameras and microphones on your devices.
  • Worms– Worms are coded to infect entire networks of devices. As one device is infected, it will speed to the other devices connected to that primary device and has the power to shut down entire systems.
  • Ransomeware– This form is named after the term ,“ransom.” This form locks down your device and demands you to pay a fee to regain access to your files and your devices.
  • Adware– This type of malware is designed to weaken your security so that your information can be given to advertisers. It allows more ads to target your devices. This is normally seen as “pop-up” advertisements in your browser.
  • Bontets– These are networks of computers and devices that hackers have direct control over.

How to protect your devices:

When protecting your network and device security, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Use these tips to protect yourself from malware threats.

  • Only download software from secure, trustworthy sites– Do not download software from unsecured websites. Most browsers will alert you when a site is not secure. If your browser does not do this, check to make sure there is a “lock” icon next to the IP address of the site you’re on. If this icon is not present, the site is not secure.
  • Install an ad-blocker– By installing an ad blocker, you can eliminate your chances of accidentally clicking a malicious ad infected with malware. Plus, it’s nice to have a break from targeted commercialism.
  • Do research on what you are downloading– Make sure that what you are downloading is actually what you want. Often times malicious software is hidden in that too-good-to-pass-up deal. Be smart, look at reviews, and investigate what you’re buying and downloading.

Although malware is designed to be hard to catch, you can use these strategies to be smarter about downloading software from the internet. As a general security rule, always make sure your devices are equip with the latest updates; those updates typically have built-in malware protection and other security protections.

Check out our other articles for more information on cybersecurity!