Malware

We've all heard the word, but do we really understand it?

The definition of Malware is any malicious software.


We've all encountered malware in one way or another. Three common types of Malware are viruses, trojan horses, and spyware.


A virus can look like a link in an email or website, that when clicked, will download the harmful code onto your computer. It can then delete files, corrupt data, or even crash your hard drive.



The Trojan Horse is a frustrating kind of malware, because it hides itself behind something that looks good. When a person goes online to download a movie or some music, they run the risk of having a Trojan Horse come with it. The name fits, because it looks like you are downloading something good, but you are actually giving someone access to your computer. This backdoor access can allow the hacker to upload files onto the computer, watch the user's screen, or install software.




Spyware acts much like a Trojan Horse, in that it attaches itself to wanted software. This is a type of malware that collects personal information which can often lead to identity theft. It also logs keystrokes, so sometimes a bank number can be stolen if the user is not careful. Spyware also causes the computer to run slowly and have problems connecting to the internet.





As the threat of Malware becomes more alarming, many companies are coming out with software to help prevent it. There are many anti-Spyware programs, as well as anti-Virus ones. Firewalls can also be put on your computer, which block unknown websites and installations, asking the user if they really want to open the program.