The 5 main types of malware you need protecting from
One of the most frequent issues that All Computer Repairs encounters is the need to rebuild a computer system that has been attacked by malware or viruses. Such attacks can cause severe damage, making it necessary to wipe the computer clean and reinstall the operating system. Unfortunately, this process also involves the deletion of all data on the computer, including your precious photos, videos, documents, and any other files you may have stored on your device. Needless to say, this loss can be extremely inconvenient and cause a great deal of anxiety for the computer owner.
Fortunately, many of these malware attacks can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. But before we delve into those precautions, let’s take a closer look at the different types of malware that exist.
Spyware, for instance, is designed to collect information from your computer and transmit it back to its creator. This information could include your passwords, personal information, browsing habits, and much more. Since your data has value, spyware is a prevalent threat that can be spread through infected programs or websites. Spyware can also be used as a prelude to a ransomware attack.
Malware is a more general term used to describe malicious code that performs a variety of functions. It includes spyware, ransomware, viruses, and other types of infections. Malware can be spread through infected apps or websites, and it can perform a wide range of malicious actions, such as downloading additional viruses or spying on your activities.
Adware, on the other hand, is designed to display advertisements, either in place of legitimate ads or as pop-ups, browser add-ons, or within other programs. Most of these ads are fake or scams, and although adware on its own doesn’t necessarily damage your computer, it can slow it down considerably. Adware is typically spread through freeware, infected apps, or fake downloads.
Rootkits are the most insidious form of malware because they penetrate the core of your operating system, making them undetectable by most antivirus software. They can delete files, wipe your hard drive, or lock you out of your operating system entirely. Like other types of malware, rootkits are often spread through infected apps, fake downloads, or freeware.
Finally, ransomware is a particularly nasty form of malware that holds your computer hostage by encrypting your files or entire hard drive and demanding payment (usually in Bitcoin) for their release. Although paying the ransom does not always guarantee the return of your files, some victims opt to pay out of desperation. Ransomware can be spread through infected programs or websites, and it can masquerade as genuine software.
So, how can you protect yourself from these threats? While it is impossible to completely avoid malware when using the internet, you can take several steps to minimize your risk. First, use a high-quality antivirus program (such as Kaspersky or Trend Micro which are the 2 programs we recommend), firewall, and malware scanner. Make sure to set them up to work automatically and scan regularly. Most browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge now include warnings about infected websites, so pay attention to these warnings and avoid such sites. Finally, never download files from untrustworthy sources or click on email links from unknown senders.
By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your chances of needing to bring your computer in for repair. If you have any questions or fear you may have already been infected with malware contact All Computer Repairs today to make a booking for one of our technicians to come and check your computer and give you advice on your internet security.