What is Malware?
Malware or “malicious software” is a broad term that describes any malicious program or code that is harmful to systems.
Hostile, intrusive, and intentionally nasty malware attempts to invade, harm, or disable computers, computer systems, networks, tablets, and mobile devices. Often taking partial control of a device’s operations. Like the flu, it interferes with normal functioning.
The malware intends to take money from the user illegally. Although malware cannot harm systems hardware or network equipment – with one known exception (see Google’s Android section) – it can steal, encrypt or erase your data, alter or hijack essential computer functions. And spy on your computer activity without your knowledge or permission.
How do I know if I have a Malware Infection?
Malware can manifest itself through various aberrant behaviors. Here are some telltale signs that you have malware on your system:
- The computer slows down. One of the main effects of it is reducing the operating system’s speed, whether you browse the Internet or only use your applications locally.
- The screen filled with waves of annoying advertising that wouldn’t have to show. Unexpected pop-up ads are a typical sign of it infection. They are especially associated with a form of it known as adware. What’s more, pop-ups often go hand in hand with other hidden malware threats. So if something like “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE WON A FREE SESSION WITH OUR SEER!” In a pop-up message, could you not click on it? Whatever prize the ad promises, it will be very expensive .
- The system constantly crashes or displays a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) blue screen, which may appear on Windows systems when a fatal error encountered.
- You see a mysterious loss of available disk space, probably due to an unwanted occupant of malware hiding on your hard drive.
- There is a strange increase in system activity on the Internet
How have I been Infected with Malware?
A malware infection requires a long list of ingredients. The main ones are the two most common ways malware accesses the system: Internet and email. That is, basically all the time, you connect to the Internet.
Malware can penetrate your computer when (take a breath) browse hacked websites, click game demos, download infected music files, install new toolbars from an unknown vendor, install software from a dubious source. Open a Malicious email attachment or download virtually anything from the web to a device that lacks a quality antimalware security application.
Malicious apps can be hidden in apparently legitimate apps, especially when downloaded via websites or messages and not from a secure App Store. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the warning messages when installing the applications, especially if they request permission to access your email or other personal information.
What are the Most Common Types of Malware?
These are the most common malefactors in the malware dishonesty gallery:
- The adware is software designed to display unwant ads on your screen, usually in a browser. It usually uses a surreptitious method. Either it pretends to be legitimate, or it is attached to another program to deceive the user and install itself on their PC, tablet or mobile device.
- The spyware is malware that monitors user activities on your computer secretly without permission and communicates them to the software’s author.
- A virus is malware that attaches itself to another program. When it executes —usually, without the user noticing it—, it replicates, modifying other programs on the computer and infecting them with its bits of code.
Can Mobile Devices be infected with Malware?
Malware criminals love the mobile device market. After all, smartphones are sophisticated and complex handheld computers. They also offer a gateway to a treasure trove of personal information, financial details, and all sorts of valuable data for those who are dishonestly trying to make money.
How can I know if my Android Device is Infected with Malware?
Fortunately, some unmistakable symptoms tell you that your Android phone is infected. You may be if you notice any of the following:
- A sudden appearance of pop-up messages with invasive ads. If they seem to come out of nowhere and refer to very elementary sites, you’ve probably installed something that hides adware. Therefore, do not click on the ad.
- A baffling increase in data usage. It uses your data plan to display advertisements and send the information stolen from your phone.
- False charges on your bill. This occurs when malicious software makes calls and sends text messages to payphones.
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