Malware is any software that is designed to cause damage to and/or unauthorized access to devices or networks. Malware comes in many forms, all of which can have negative effects on your device and for you.
Common Types of Malware and Their Effects
Ransomware – Ransomware is malware that stops you from being able to access your files, usually by encrypting them, and then requests payment to decrypt the files, restoring your access. Most commonly, ransomware asks for payment in bitcoin, which is a popular cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, paying the ransom does not guarantee restoring access to your files.
Trojan Horses (a.k.a. trojans) – This malware takes its name from the classic story of the Greek army sneaking soldiers into the city of Troy hidden inside a large wooden horse. Trojans of the malware variety behave in much the same way, by appearing to be legitimate apps or software that you want to install. Some trojans allow an attacker full access to your device, others steal banking and personally sensitive information, and others are simply used to download additional malware, like ransomware.
Keyloggers – This type of malware records your keystrokes and sends them to a cyber threat actor, giving them access to your usernames, passwords, and any other sensitive information you have entered using your keyboard. With this information, the cyber threat actor can access your online accounts or commit identity theft.
Tips and Practices for Avoiding and Surviving a Malware Infection
- Update and patch your devices and software.
- Never click suspicious or untrusted links.
- Only download from trusted sources.
- Backup your data and be sure the backups are good!
- Use antivirus and other protective software on your device.
- Configure your devices with some security in mind.
See the details about each point at;