We all would love to see the internet free of any malicious links, but the reality is that malware is here to stay. Malware is malicious software intended to damage you or your device somehow. It seeks to gain access to your device, network connection, or the system. What’s more, malware keeps developing and reinventing itself along with other positive developments we see in technology. This is why all cautious internet users need to stay up to date with the latest trends in malware, so they can detect any suspicious activity on their device before the malicious software can do some real damage. This article will discuss the most widespread types of malware, their mechanisms, and how you can protect your device from them.
To this day, ransomware is the most frequently used type of malware. The attacker gains access to the victim’s device one way or another and then requests a ransom if the user wants to regain control over their back. Usually, the hacker will threaten to delete or permanently hold the data on the computer if the user refuses to pay, which, more often than not, they do. Like traditional ransom situations, the victim cannot guarantee that his device and files will be unharmed after the ransom is paid.
Many of those annoying, purely executed ads we see online contain malware. They will usually appear on your screen without warning, sometimes taking up the entire desktop. It can be a traditional poster ad, a pop-up, or a banner; you name it. When you accidentally click on it, you may download malware, or it may take you to a website containing malware. That’s about all that’s necessary for a hacker to start taking over your device. In the case of adware, you may accidentally download an ad software, and its developers will make money each time an ad is displayed or clicked on through your device.
What makes the virus different from the two above-mentioned malware types is that it self replicates, infecting other computers through various methods. A virus is a piece of code that will attack a computer by inserting itself into programs run by the system. Viruses can help launch DDoS attacks and ransomware attacks on the victim.
Worms are malware that replicates their own accord, spreading from system to system. A worm targets vulnerabilities and software backdoors and even use flash drives to insert itself into the operating system of the victim’s device. The key difference between a worm and a virus is that a worm will not hide in a second program; a worm will take control of the device independently. Worms can be used to execute DDoS and ransomware attacks. They can also help the hacker steal sensitive data from the victim.
As you might be able to guess from the name, Trojans refers to the type of malware that disguises itself as benign, desirable software. Once the user is fooled, it will begin to install the malware or gather information in the background. What makes these types of malware so dangerous is that the user has no idea that the device has been compromised and will continue using it as if nothing is wrong. Trojans can be hidden in games, applications, and software updates.
How to protect yourself from malware?
Besides staying cautious and thinking twice before clicking on any ad, odd link, or website, the most effective way to defend yourself against malware is to use a VPN. VPNs reroute your connection, concealing your IP address and making it difficult for anyone to target you with malware. Using a VPN will also let you relax while browsing since your internet connection will be encrypted, hence less vulnerable to outside attacks. Apart from that, you can also overcome the geographic blocks on content by using USA VPN servers and gaining access to all sorts of content available in the US, for example, but would otherwise be blocked in your country.