A computer virus is a destructive program designed to create chaos on your computer. Once executed, it will quickly replicate, infecting many files on your machine. Its goal is to modify or delete as many files as soon as possible before its stopped by your cybersecurity software.
However, a computer virus is only one type of malware threat. Although a virus is a type of malware, not every malware is a virus. If you have ever asked yourself what does antivirus software do to protect me from malicious software, then this blog is for you.
Here are some different types of malware that sophisticated antivirus software will remediate with signature-based technology and proactive tools powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning:
1. Computer Worm
Like a PC virus, a worm only exists to spread chaos. However, while a PC virus spreads from one file after another on your computer, a worm spreads through your network to many computers. Some worms move so quickly that they can infect all the computers in a large office building before lunch hour.
2. Trojan Horse
A Trojan horse is more of a malware delivery method than a type of malware. However, it’s still critical to learn about it to avoid it. A cybercriminal uses a Trojan horse attack to disguise malware like a virus or spyware in legitimate-looking software.
For example, a hacker may send you an infected video file that carries stalkerware. As soon as you open the file, your computer is infected without you knowing it. Fortunately, sophisticated antivirus software can proactively detect a Trojan horse attack before it causes harm.
Although adware is less threatening than other types of malware, it can be pretty annoying. An adware will throw up a barrage of ads on your screen and secretly record your browsing habits to help marketers target you with messages. Adware can also slow down your computer, crash your browser, redirect your homepage, and more.
Immediately use advanced antivirus software to clean your computer if you suspect that you have a spyware infection. This sneaky malware waits for the right time to copy your files and folders for hackers across the Internet. Spyware may also log your keystrokes and help thieves steal money from your online bank accounts.
More sinister types of spyware like stalkerware may quietly record you through your webcam, listen to your conversations through your microphone, or send your GPS coordinates to a stalker. A spyware attack is a serious breach of your security and must be reported to law enforcement agencies in your location. Be particularly wary of stalkerware if you have children in your household, as it’s a favourite tool for many online predators.
As more people spend time on their computers during the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals use ransomware attacks against businesses and employees alike to generate revenue. Within minutes, a ransomware attack will lock your computer and demand that you pay a hacker through a digital currency.
Ransomware attacks sometimes don’t end after the first payment. Hackers usually demand more money or target victims repeatedly for more funds. Whether you want protection against viruses, worms, adware, spyware, ransomware, or other types of malware, you need a modern and proactive anti-malware solution.