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What Are The Different Types Of Malware?

February 5, 2021 No Comments

Featured article by Howard Barnard, Independent Technology Author


More popularly known as malware, malicious software has been the bane of all laptop, computer, and even smartphone users. However, despite the insidious nature of this potentially dangerous code, there are things you can do to protect your digital devices against individuals or groups behind such software. Knowing about malware is one way to prevent yourself from falling prey to such cyber threats.

The following are the most common types of malicious software:

1. Virus

A computer virus works the same way as a flu virus that infects people. It comes from a piece of code that hides itself within a document or a legitimate program. It then replicates itself and spreads from one computer to the next. It’s dangerous because it can corrupt your system and destroy your data. It’s also worth noting that viruses not only infect computers or laptops, but can also wreak havoc on smart televisions.

2. Worms

Worms work like viruses because their primary purpose is to infect your computer. The only difference is that worms don’t need a program host to spread. A worm seeps through the cracks of software vulnerabilities. It’s difficult to remove malware classified as a worm. Once installed in your system, it can self-replicate and wreak havoc not only on your device, but potentially also on your network. Worms can delete or modify files, steal data, create backdoors for hackers, or simply replicate ad infinitum to exhaust your system resources.

3. Ransomware

If you suddenly can’t access your device files, you’ve probably been infected by ransomware. This type of malicious code is created explicitly by cybercriminals to restrict or totally deny access to your files. The people responsible would then ask for ransom or payment, usually paid in crypto coins, in exchange for the code that will allow you to regain access to your files. The most widespread ransomware attack is WannaCry. It crippled over 300,000 computer devices in over 150 countries in 2017.

4. Trojan Horse

A trojan horse is one sneaky type of malware. It’s a program that pretends to be safe or legitimate software. It lures unknowing victims to install it in their computers. Once a trojan is installed, it creates a backdoor to your system and enables hackers to control your device remotely. Trojans can allow cybercriminals to steal your personal and financial information.

5. Malicious Bots

Like the term malware, which is a contraction of the words malicious and software, a bot is a shortened version of Internet robot. But, while all the different types of malware (which you can see on this video: are designed to cause damage, bots can be used for good.

Many tech companies, like Google, use bots to carry out repetitive tasks. However, not all bots are good bots. There are bad bots that can corrupt your computer and transform it into a zombie computer. When this happens, cybercriminals can take over your system without you knowing it. They can then use your device to launch ransomware attacks, send phishing emails, access your webcam and mic, and steal your information.

Malware mind map, technology concept for presentations and reports

6. Spyware

Spyware is another software that hacks your device clandestinely. Virtual crooks often use it to harvest personal data, credit card and bank details, passwords, and even track your online transactions and activities. Often, hackers sell the information they gathered to advertisers and even to other cybercriminals.

7. Adware

Adware may not be as nefarious as the other types of malicious programs, but it sure can be pesky and intrusive. Its main goal is to display ads and popups randomly and persistently. Hackers can use adware to direct you to popups that deliver spyware, scams, and phishing programs.


As the number of people accessing the Internet continues to rise, so will the cyberattacks and threats. Unfortunately, attacks are increasingly becoming sophisticated. Often, victims have no clue as to the extent of the malware infection. Despite this, however, you can easily protect yourself from being a victim of these dangerous programs.

Equip your devices with updated antivirus software from trustworthy companies. If you find yourself already a victim of an attack, don’t worry as there are also software companies that can effectively remove malware and protect you from future attacks.


Howard Barnard

Howard Barnard is a full-time tech blogger who helps individuals and businesses utilize technology. Howard regularly publishes content on the newest innovations on the tech industry, and helps readers understand how these innovations can improve their lives.

During his leisure, Howards loves to go fishing with his friends and family.


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