There are many terms used incorrectly for differing types of malicious software. In fact “malware” comes from truncating the two words “malicious software”. This is also the umbrella term for any software meant to do harm to a computer or its user. Therefore, viruses are malware, but not all malware is a virus.
The term virus came from the 1980s when they were programmed as part of a larger program. The fact that they needed a larger program as a “host” was where the term virus was devised. It came from biological viruses that also need a host to survive.
There are a few types of malware which I will try to define below.
Virus – a computer program that spreads by attaching its code to another program with the intent of doing harm to the computer operating system or stored files.
Worm – malicious computer code that does not need any human action to spread. All other types need a click or some form of human action to activate. Worms spread themselves through networks and storage devices like USB drives.
Trojan – or Trojan horse. Just like the name hints, these are programs that disguise as other legitimate programs to deliver an unexpected payload.
Keyloggers – These are designed to record your every key stroke to attempt to steal your passwords and valuable information.
Spyware – To put it shortly, software designed to spy on you. Similar to keyloggers, they are designed to steal you information.
Scareware – These programs are used to scare you into thinking you need there software. They pretend to be legitimate security software to get you to buy something you don’t need.
Ransomware – This has become the most recent and worst malware to hit computers. The worst ones will encrypt your files and hold you ransom until you pay a large sum of money to get your files back.
There are other forms of malware, some extinct or outdated, some not very nasty as compared to the ones above. All forms of malware need to be removed or kept away. Unfortunately most people will have some form of malware just from going online for a little while.
Knowing where these bugs come from has given us the ability to create a solution to most of these problems. We’ve put together several pieces of software designed to protect and disinfect. Contact us today for more information.
ES- Owner/operator of Computer Troubleshooters MB