What Is Malware? How To Detect And Prevent An Attack

Every year there’s an increase in cyber-attacks. Statistics show that in the coming years, the attacks may even be more prominent. That’s why it’s vital to know what malware is and how to prevent them. 

It’s common for people to misuse cybersecurity terminology. But if these malicious programs have ever attacked your systems, it’s essential to know how they’re classified and spread. An IT consulting agency may help you clean your systems, but they may not tell you the malware types. 

But first…

What’s A Malware? 

It’s a program developed to disable or damage computer systems without your knowledge. The term malware is the short form for “malicious software.”

Here are some malware types you need to look out for:

  • Viruses

Viruses are the most commonly known malware. In fact, most users think that every malware program is a virus. The truth is that not all malware are viruses. 

Viruses modify legitimate files, making them unusable. Pure computer viruses aren’t common. In fact, they form below 10% of all malware. However, when they infect your files, they’ll be difficult to clean because they must be eliminated from the legitimate program. Most best antiviruses can only quarantine or delete the infected files.

  • Worms

Worms have existed longer than viruses. They were so popular in the late ‘90s when emails were invented. Worms attach themselves to email messages. If one person opens a corrupted message, they’ll infect the entire company’s systems. 

The unique trait of worms is that they self-multiply. That makes them dangerous and notorious because when they hit, they may affect the entire world in a very short time. Some worms have even affected television networks and overloaded phone systems. 

  • Trojans

Hackers have replaced computer worms with Trojans because of the effectiveness in hacking systems. These malware pretend to be legitimate programs but have malicious instructions. It’s estimated that they’ve been around for a longer period than viruses and have infected computers more than other malware types. 

Trojans must be executed to function. They can corrupt your system if sent through email or if you visit infected websites. A common Trojan is a fake antivirus that usually pops up when you’re surfing and informs you that your computer is infected. If you run it, it infects your file and and takes root. 

Cyber criminals love using Remote Access Trojans because it enables them to take control over computers. These Trojans are created to avoid detection. If they infect your entire system, you may end up losing a lot of data. 

It’s difficult to defend your systems against Trojans because they’re easy to write and masquerade, thus tricking end-users.

  • Adware

Hackers use adware to expose end-users to malicious advertising. Adware redirects browser searches to similar pages that have product promotions. It’s one of the most popular malware that you’ll come into contact with. 

Preventing Malware

There are many measures that you can take to prevent malware from attacking your system. Ensure you have a backup for all the important files to less your worry of losing precious data. Your system’s software should also be updated, and you should install a strong antivirus program.

If you own a company, ensure you train your team not to open suspicious emails or click on pop up messages. Setting strong passwords and regularly updating them will also prevent hackers from accessing your data.



Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.