Definition & Meaning:

Malware, short for malicious software, refers to any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.

By definition, malware includes a variety of harmful programs such as viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and others.

Each type serves different malicious intents and mechanisms of action, but they all share the common goal of exploiting devices or networks.

When malware infects your device, it can perform a range of disruptive activities. For instance, viruses can replicate themselves and spread to other devices, corrupting files or systems in the process.

Worms exploit network vulnerabilities to spread without human interaction. Trojan horses disguise themselves as legitimate software to trick you into installing them, providing backdoor access to your system.

Ransomware locks you out of your files by encrypting them and demands payment for the decryption key. Spyware secretly monitors your activities and collects information without your consent, posing significant privacy threats.

Adware bombards you with unwanted advertisements, often redirecting your browser to unsafe websites.

Examples of malware impacts include theft of sensitive personal or financial information, significant system performance slowdown, unauthorized access to your device’s resources, and the spread of malware to contacts through email or social media.

Protecting yourself from malware involves installing and regularly updating antivirus software, being cautious with email attachments and downloads, keeping your operating system and applications updated, and avoiding suspicious websites.