Malware is a collective term used to identify any computer program whose only purpose is to cause damage to the computer, server, or network in general & gain access to sensitive information from within. Most common malware includes viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, and more.
Malware can attack a computer or network through numerous methods. The most common type of malware is viruses.
Viruses can insert themselves into standalone programs and then force them to take malicious actions and reproduce themselves in the process.
The most common way malware spreads today is through infected links on websites or spam emails. Users who are generally unaware of this click on them only to get their systems infected and risk the entire network they are working on.
To put this into perspective, every minute, four companies globally fall victim to ransomware attacks. Over 7 billion ransomware attacks were reported in 2019 alone, and this number is only increasing day by day.
How to Prevent and Protect Against Malware?
To completely know how to protect yourself against malware, we first need to understand different malware & how they function. Malware is either classified on its type or on how they exploit the system once they are onboard.
Broadly there are three categories of malware based on its type:
A Worm: It is a standalone piece of malicious software that clones itself and spreads from device to device.
A Virus: It is a piece of code that hides inside the code of another standalone program & then forces that program to take malicious action and reproduce itself.
A Trojan: A trojan cannot reproduce itself and spread, but it is an exact copy of some useful common program like MS word document or a common application. Once the user unknowingly opens it, it gets activated and starts damaging the PC.
Other than these, malware can also be classified based on their end purpose from their creators. These include ‘spyware’ that intends to spy on your computer usage, gather all the data you send or receive, and share it with third parties. A ‘rootkit’ gives an intruder root-level access to your system and yet remains completely…