Combined from the words ‘malicious’ and ‘software’, malware is the general term for computer viruses, worms, trojans, keyloggers, spyware, adware and others.
The purpose of malware is to intrude on a machine for a variety of reasons. From theft of financial details, to sensitive corporate or personal information, malware is best avoided, for even if it has no malicious purpose at present, it could well have so at some point in the future.
With the growth in online usage over the last decade, there has also been a rapid increase in the number and types of malware that currently roam in the wild. It is highly likely that one form of malware or another is already present on the machine of anyone reading this article.
Of course, not all malware is as aggressive or intrusive as others, though it is generally good practice to have a secure anti-malware solution in place to protect a computer or computer network.
There are various signs that would indicate a computer has been infected with malware of any kind.
In short, any irregularities that are noticed, from unwanted desktop items to a slowing down of the machine, to unusual error messages, all could indicate something is amiss and needs looking into.
Of course, there are also malware that runs silently in the background in order to avoid detection and removal.
It is essential to have a secure anti-malware solution installed on a computer or network.
With an ever-growing number of new malware entering the online cybersphere every day however, it is essential that technical solutions are matched with human knowledge and threat prevention techniques.
After all, it is human awareness of malware tools and methods that will help prevent a threat in the first place, something which is much easier to do than acting after the fact once the damage is already done.