Malware is a generic term for malicious computer programs designed to cause damage to a computer system.
VIRUSES A computer virus is a malicious computer program that hides in legitimate applications to get from one computer to another to infect them and reproduce itself. Computer viruses can cause significant damage depending on the purpose for which they are programmed. They can delete or encrypt data, search hard disks for login information, record keyboard entries, etc.
Viruses infect computers via Internet downloads, chat messages, USB sticks, email attachments (hidden in greeting cards, pictures, documents, audio and video files), or are downloaded through compromised app stores.
If a virus reaches the computer, it starts to execute the code for which it was programmed. Some computer viruses immediately infect executable files, others wait until a program is opened to infect it or start only under certain conditions and specific circumstances.
Most computer viruses have a self-protection mechanism built in and they try to remain undetected on the computer to fulfill their purpose as long as possible.
WORMS A worm is a malicious computer code that most frequently spreads itself via email attachments. When an email attachment infected with a worm is opened, it automatically spreads on the computer and searches all address books and temporary web pages that may contain email addresses.
The worm uses the email addresses it finds to send infected messages disguised as "real messages". Due to the rapid spread of the threat, most computers suffer from performance slowdowns and stability problems.
TROJANS A Trojan is malicious software that pretends to have a defined function but performs a destructive function after it is launched. As soon as a Trojan reaches a foreign computer and becomes active, it can, for example, format hard disks, spy out access data for online banking, or allow hackers to access the computer.
Trojans cannot spread on their own and they always need a virus, worm or legitimate application to gain access to a foreign computer.
SPYWARE Spyware, are sniffers. They are infiltrated into computers via email, Trojans, hacked websites or legitimate applications to collect and forward confidential information.
The tasks of spyware range from tracking user behavior on websites and using the data for advertising purposes, to harvesting keystrokes in order to collect usernames, passwords, account numbers and addresses.
Symptoms of an infection
- The computer's performance is slowing down.
- Bulk emails are sent automatically from your own account.
- The computer is crashing frequently.
- Login difficulties occur.
- You are being redirected to other websites.
- Use a trusted antivirus program and keep it always up to date.
- Scan your computer at regular intervals.
- Perform all operating system patches.
- Keep all programs on your computer up-to-date.
- When downloading programs, make sure that they come only from trusted websites.
- Avoid clicking pop-up ads.
- Scan the email attachments before opening them.
Removing malware without any tool support can be challenging because certain malware will reinstall itself after removal.
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