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What is Malware


Malware is something that no one wants to get on their computer. As opposed to most "bloatware" or "adware" which are annoyances more than anything, malware is malicious software designed to either damage your computer or steal personal information. There are various different types of malware from fake antivirus software to keyloggers, Trojans and viruses designed to harm your computer. Effective and reputable antivirus software is usually the only practical way to get rid of malware from your computer, although you should also be vigilant when using the Internet, especially when it comes to opening email attachments from unknown senders or downloading files from torrent sites.

The most well-known type of malware is the classic "computer virus." Viruses are malicious pieces of programming designed to attach themselves to certain types of files and spread throughout your system as well as onto others. Although, thanks to greatly improved security in modern operating systems, viruses are not as much of a problem as they once were, they certainly still exist. In the past, there have been major problems caused by viruses. One of the worst computer viruses ever to exist was the infamous CIH virus which infected thousands of computers around the world, also finding its way into new hardware before it even left the shelves. It was particularly devastating due to the fact that it could corrupt firmware such as the system BIOS, rendering a computer completely unworkable and necessitating the replacement of the motherboard (or even the entire computer).

The most common malware these days comes in the form of keyloggers and Trojans. Whereas viruses are designed for nothing other than mindless destruction, keyloggers and Trojans are designed for the purpose of stealing your personal information. If you get a keylogger installed on your computer, every key that you press will be recorded and sent over the Internet to the hacker. This means that the hacker will be able to see anything that you have typed in. There are commercially available keyloggers as well, however. These are often used to monitor children online or to monitor employees in the workplace. Trojans, by contrast, allow the hacker to remotely control your computer. Again, there are commercially available programs which work in a similar way, but are designed for desirable effects rather than malicious use. This is exactly what remote desktop software is used for.

 

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