The internet can be a dangerous place, whether you’re a big organization or just an everyday user. And, while digital technologies open up to new possibilities, cybercriminals are getting smarter and smarter in taking advantage of them.
According to the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report (opens in new tab), there were 82% more ransomware-related data leaks last year. At the same time, State-backed Iranian hackers were recently found guilty of spying on users via fake VPN apps. Phishing campaigns, like the recent one targeting shoppers this Black Friday, are often the simpler way to strike.
What all these attacks have in common is malicious software managing to elude the security infrastructure of one or more devices to inflict harm on their users. That’s what, in technical jargon, is known as malware.
You might be inclined to think that just downloading one of the best antivirus apps is everything you need to secure your information. However, to truly protect your device from being infected, the truth is less straightforward. As malware can be so varied, your protection plan needs to be diversified too.
The best defense against malware doesn’t lie on a mere combination of security software, either. You must know your enemy before defeating it. Knowledge and precautions are the first weapons necessary to fight back!
What is malware?
Short for malicious software, malware is a generic term that defines a program injected to a particular device to cause harm to its users. It usually involves the appropriation of sensitive data. This might be for economic gains, like in case of ransomware. Or, often also spyware apps that illegally surveil people.
Viruses, worms, trojans and adware are some of the most common types, and while they have different purposes and modus operandi, they share some mutual characteristics. And, much like how viruses work in the real world, malware can spread easily and fast among digital users.
Most common types of malware:
- Ransomware: Once it infiltrates a device, it encrypts users’ data and systems, preventing them from being accessed until a ransom is paid. Usually targeting organizations rather than individuals, it often…