Malicious software (also known as malware) can either be mildly annoying or quite threatening. Minor threats such as adware can throw up popups on the screen and slow down the system, while moderate threats like computer viruses and worms can corrupt files and folders, rendering computers inoperable.
Critical threats such as spyware can expose your sensitive data to bad actors, resulting in crimes such as doxing, identity theft, or worse. Other critical threats like ransomware can encrypt or corrupt your essential data until you pay the author of the attack to unlock your files.
- What is the difference between a computer virus and malware?
- How do I stop malware?
- How do I stop rootkits and exploits?
- How do I stop keyloggers, stalkerware, and spyware?
What is the difference between a computer virus and malware?
To stop a PC virus, you must understand the difference between a computer virus and malware. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, they’re not quite the same thing. A computer virus is just one type of malware. Other kinds of malware include worms, adware, spyware, stalkerware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, etc.
How do I stop malware?
Whether you use a Windows-powered PC or a Mac, you should update your operating system’s security software. With the latest database, your default antivirus software has a better chance of stopping malware. Please remember that malware threats against Macs now outpace Windows per endpoint, so you need to pay attention to security on Apple devices too.
Of course, basic antivirus tools aren’t enough to stop emerging malware threats. Try a free virus scan powered by proactive anti-malware technology. Pre-emptive anti-malware software uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze patterns and catch new threats that may not have established signatures.
How do I stop rootkits and exploits?
A rootkit is a type of malware that hides in your computer and allows a threat actor to control your computer. A hacker can use a rootkit to read the login credentials to your email, financial, or social media accounts. It’s challenging to clear a rootkit infection. You must avoid suspicious emails, links, and websites because they can carry the malware.
Exploits are vulnerabilities in software that cybercriminals can use to breach your system’s defences. Aside from updating your antivirus software, it would help if you also kept your essential software updated. Modern operating systems allow you to automate this process.
Avoid using software no longer supported by its developers because its security holes are unlikely to be fixed. Many threat actors prefer to target ageing operating systems like Windows 7 because of their unpatched flaws.
How do I stop keyloggers, stalkerware, and spyware?
Spyware is a dangerous type of malware that shows few symptoms, if any, and allows bad actors to spy on you and steal your data. Stalkerware is a type of spyware that predators, ex-lovers, and other types of stalkers use to track targets or watch them quietly. Keyloggers are also a form of spyware that documents keystrokes for hackers.
To stop any malware, you need advanced antivirus software that uses anti-malware technology. Additionally, it would be best to learn more about phishing expeditions and Trojan horse attacks because malicious hackers use them to trick unsuspecting people into installing malware.