Regardless of what you call it, most people know you don’t want either a malware or a virus hanging around. Then why is it important to understand the difference between the two? One simple reason is you can protect yourself from a virus and notbe protected from a malware. Why? Because all viruses are malwares, but not all malwares are viruses. Allow me to explain.
Thank you Jason for the idea of drawing a correlation to spiders, the undesirable things most people don’t want around. For some, including my wife, the simple sight of a spider elicits screams of terror and that’s not an exaggeration. Generally speaking, spiders are unwanted, are around before you see them, their bite can cause irritation, and they can become an annoyance.
Malware, short for malicious software, is similar to a spider as it is generally unwanted, normally around before you know it, can result in data theft, annoying pop-ups, locking up computer data and other irritations. Malware is created by cyber criminals with the intention of gaining access or causing damage to a computer or network, often while the victim remains oblivious to the fact there’s been a compromise. There are several types of malwares, just like there are several types of spiders. Some of the malwares include trojan horse, spyware, ransomware, wiper, worm, adware, botnet to name just a few. Each written to harm in different ways, take for example ransomware. When your computer or network becomes infected by this malware, all of your data is locked and inaccessible to you unless you pay a ransom.
Perhaps the most recognized of all malware is the virus given its popularity in decades past. A Daddy Long Legs is a type of spider and a virus is a type of malware. A virus is written with the intention of altering the way your computer operates and it spreads across a computer network without the user’s involvement.
How to protect yourself?
There are best practices such as security awareness training to avoid phishing, a “is this software safe?” search before downloading a program or app, keeping your software up to date, using strong passwords, backup up your computer, and using a firewall. One of the most reliable ways to protect your data is through the use of antimalware and antivirus software. It is recommended you use both as antivirus software is about preventing files that contain viruses from being downloaded or opened. Antimalware on the other hand, is used to take malware out of an infected computer, should a virus somehow pass through an antivirus software check.
If you are interested in learning more about the software available, check out PC Magazine’s “The Best Malware Removal and Protection Software for 2019” at https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/354226/the-best-malware-removal-and-protection-tools.
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