Everyone who spends a lot of time on the Internet inevitably encounters them at some point: viruses, worms and also trojans. What damage do malicious programs cause to the computer? What are the different forms of malware? And how can you protect yourself from it?
How do viruses, worms and Trojans differ??
Malicious programs are designed to cause damage
The virus – classic among all computer malware – spreads with the help of infected files. Once you save and open the affected file on your PC, it attacks other files and can spread itself further. Infected files appear particularly frequently in the form of attachments in e-mails.
A worm penetrates even through security gaps into the PC. An active opening of a file by the user is not necessary for the computer worm, to cause damage. Through shared networks, for example, but also the automatic copy on removable media, the worm migrates to other computers to paralyze entire systems.
As the name implies, a Trojan horse presents itself like the famous Trojan horse. Malicious programs of this type are common disguised as seemingly useful software. After starting the program, unwanted advertisements appear, but a Trojan also spies on sensitive data. A Trojan is often additionally equipped with a virus, which tries to spread itself.
What damage do malicious programs cause?
Depending on the type of virus your computer has caught, the damage goes for example from annoying advertising to the theft of confidential data. A virus can record your keystrokes with a so-called keylogger and thus reveal your passwords. Data spies cause financial damage in such a way, in which they, for example buy online at your expense.
Some malware follows the trick to inform the user about his virus attack. At the same time a reference to a paid anti-virus program . Inexperienced PC users go for the fraudulent deal.
You can protect yourself against malware
The Adware , a subset of malware, places advertisements on your PC. After installing infected software, a toolbar often appears in the browser, the start page is redirected to an advertising page and pop-ups appear. This type of malware is comparatively harmless, but costs nerves.
Stubborn viruses, however, can also cause a complete hard drive crash. The Virus deletes important programs and files and thus make the computer unusable.
What protection is there against malware?
You yourself can actively protect yourself against viruses, Trojans or computer worms with your online behavior. For example, do not open any file attachments in e-mails from unknown senders. Obtain free software only from reputable providers. Do without Download illegal content like movies. These files especially often contain malware.
In addition to your own behavior is also a good anti-virus program and firewall Duty. Since the developers of malware constantly develop new viruses, is a regular update important to always be up to date with the latest security updates. Software and systems also update themselves regularly to close newly created security gaps. Always agree to these updates.
If you have been infected by a computer malware, it is important to remain calm. Do not download dubious anti-virus programs from the Internet, behind you could hide even more malware. Grab to a reputable antivirus provider and consult a specialist if necessary. Back up your most important data on an external data medium.
In general However, 100 % protection is never possible is. But with the right behavior, you can significantly reduce the risk of being affected by malware.