Many believe that viruses and malware are the same but they behave quite differently. A virus is a specific type of malware and a malware is an umbrella of all sorts of malicious code which includes viruses, trojans, adware, spyware, worms, ransomware and more. We often talk about Anti-viruses that protect our devices but they protect from more than just viruses. The reason they are called anti-virus is because in the 1990s, viruses were very common and companies began marketing their security to protect against them. Over the years, security companies have had to find better ways of dealing with different types malicious code other than just viruses.
Types of Malware
Virus: Just like the common cold or flu, computer viruses replicate and spread the infection. This often occurs when sharing computers.
Adware: This may not be considered malicious but it can be bothersome. It’s the advertisements that keep popping up to grab your attention when browsing online. It monitors your browsing habits so it can show advertisements based on your interests.
Spyware: This software spies on you and tracks your activity online and gathers information about you. Some companies install these on their employee’s computers to track the sites they visit.
Worms: They replicate like viruses and destroys files saved on your device and run in the background.
Trojan: These are a type of virus that appears as a safe program to download but they are programmed to steal your personal information and take over your system.
Ransomware: This is the most common malware that takes over your device and locks you out until you pay a fee. A pop-up warning appears on your screen asking to pay a fee to unlock your system. Do NOT pay this fee, contact a computer technician immediately.
In order to protect your devices, your best bet is to have an active (usually paid) protection for virus and malware. It’s important that they are both compatible with each other to prevent any conflicts.