Technology is developing at a vast rate. Modern personal devices such as laptops and mobile phones contain all of our important data and information. Cybercriminals are after this information as they can use it to commit their crimes.
One of the main methods that cybercriminals use to get hold of your information is by installing malicious software on your device. Malware can be transmitted to other devices, oftentimes without the knowledge of the user.
This makes it even more dangerous, as you could be putting your family, friends and colleagues at risk of becoming the victims of a cyberattack as well. Read on to find out more about malware and how to keep your devices safe.
What is Malware?
Malware or malicious software is a type of software that has been designed by cybercriminals. The goal of the malware varies depending on what the cybercriminal wants to achieve.
Some malware is simply programmed to cause destruction. Destroying anything on your device from files to media and even your entire operating system in some cases. The goal here is to make your life as difficult as possible or to destroy important information that might be on your device.
Other forms of malware can be more focused on extracting information from your device that will allow the cybercriminal to do damage and commit different types of crimes such as identity theft or fraud.
What Are The Most Common Types of Malware?
It is important to understand the different types of malware that exist and what they do. Having a basic understanding of malware will give you an idea of what to look out for and what might be at risk on your device if you find them. Below is a list of the most common types of malware that you may come across;
- Spyware – This is a dangerous form of malware that will risk your privacy and security. Spyware is able to track your data and browser history. This would allow a cybercriminal to monitor what you do on your device. In some cases, they could also get hold of your login credentials, which could put all of your accounts at risk.
- Viruses – These are some of the most common forms of malware. However, there are different types of viruses, each with its own objective in mind. All of them are dangerous though, and they can destroy anything on your device from files to the entire operating system. Some viruses can clone themselves or hide from antivirus software, which makes them difficult to remove from your device. One of the main signs that you have a virus on your device is if it begins acting up. If your device suddenly becomes slower or begins to freeze with no explanation it could be a sign that a virus has made its way onto your device.
- Ransomware – Ransomware is the most dangerous form of malware that you can find on your device. This malware has caused billions of dollars in damage in the past year alone. Ransomware is able to encrypt important files or accounts. This means that you won’t be able to access any of them until the encryption is removed. The only way to remove the encryption is to pay the ransom fee to cybercriminals.
All of the malicious software above can be extremely dangerous for your device. It is best to avoid malware at all costs. As soon as malware is installed on your device, it can begin doing damage. Therefore, prevention is the best form of defence.
How Does Malware Spread Between Devices?
Malware can spread between devices in a few different ways. Some malware has been programmed specifically to clone itself and spread from one device to another. However, many others can do the same even if it is not what they have been designed to do.
The main way in which malware can be spread between devices is through emails. Email attachments are a common method by which malware can move between devices. If you forward an attachment from an unknown source to one of your family, friends or colleagues you could be putting them at risk.
The Best Form of Defence Against Malware
There are several different types of cybersecurity measures on the market that you can use. Thus, it can become overwhelming when you need to choose which one to use for your device. However, the best option is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any malicious software, and it will take action to remove it from your device as well.
It is important that you ensure that your antivirus software is always kept up to date. Software updates are regularly sent out by developers to ensure that there are no flaws in the software. They are also used to add extra layers of defence against new tactics that are used by cybercriminals.