Malware is a generic term for malicious computer programs designed to cause damage to a computer system.
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 for as long as possible.
The worm uses the email addresses it finds to send infected messages disguised as "genuine messages". Due to the rapid spread of the threat, most computers suffer from performance slowdowns and stability problems.
Trojans cannot spread on their own and they always need a virus, worm, or legitimate application to gain access to a foreign computer.
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
- Your computer slows down.
- Bulk emails are sent automatically from your own account.
- Your computer crashes frequently.
- You have difficulties logging in.
- You are redirected to other websites.
- Use a trusted antivirus program to always keep it up to date.
- Scan your computer at regular intervals.
- Install all operating system patches.
- Keep all programs on your computer up to date.
- When downloading programs, make sure they only come from trusted websites.
- Avoid clicking pop-up ads.
- Scan 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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