Modern computers provide efficiency and convenience in our day-to-day life and business. However, malware or malicious software can wreak havoc. These unwanted programs affect both the hardware and the software. In the absence of computer updates, they also destroy data and steal information.


How does malware enter a computer?

Malicious programs spread when you download or install the infected software or data from the internet or other sources. They can also enter the computer via email or hyperlinks(after clicking). Once they enter, they attach themselves to different files or hide in a safe place. Subsequently, they create different types of problems.


What happens when malware enters a computer? 

Malware can enter via any small, medium, or large computer updates or software installation and can result in a distressing infection. You can notice the following symptoms when there is malware –

  1. The computer becomes erratic, and its performance slows down.
  2. You will not be able to get online or onto a private network.
  3. The system can freeze, halt, or completely shut down on its own.
  4. People on your mailing list receive mail from you automatically.
  5. A large number of pop-ups or windows will flood your screen.
  6. Programs on your system will start, freeze, or stop on their own.


Types of malware

Different types of malware can infect your precious computer. They can compromise confidential data and make the system unsafe for further use.

  1. Viruses – A type of software program that executes and replicates. It enters the system and modifies the code in other programs. It adds, deletes, or modifies the code causing in-effective changes.
  2. Worms – Like viruses, worms also spread and infect a network, data on the computer. Regular computer updates to anti-virus and security software can fend them off. Or, they spread quickly and result in network failure.
  3. Trojans – These programs get the name from the wooden horse in Greek mythology. The software appears legitimate but has hidden parts inside it. This malicious and hidden code does not seek to spread itself. It gains a backdoor entry into a system using seemingly legitimate means.
  4. Bugs – Bugs are flaws or errors in a legitimate piece of code. When the program gets executed, they result in incorrect results or system freezes and crashes.
  5. Adware – This advertising-supported software can infect any computer. Once it gets into the system, it keeps serving unwanted ads and pop-ups. It is relatively harmless but creates unwanted distractions. Some adware also monitors your online behaviour to serve relevant ads.
  6. Rootkit – Malicious software that gains unauthorized access to a system. It can monitor user behaviour, steal banking data and passwords, or unleash robot attacks.
  7. Ransomware – A hazardous and advanced type of malware. It can gain secretive access when the user is performing computer updates. Later, it can lock the user out of his system. It can also encrypt or lock user programs and data. User has to pay a ransom for the key.   

Your basic firewall is not enough to keep your system clean and safe. Install advanced security software, download legitimate software, and update your system regularly to keep it safe.