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Whether you find the anti-virus program or search the net, the term malware appears everywhere. In this practical tip we will explain what this actually is.
Malware is a collective term for programs designed to harm users. There are many subtypes of malware - for example, viruses, Trojans, rootkits or spyware. All work differently and have different tasks. But they have one common goal: to harm you.
Malware can lurk virtually anywhere - whether surfing the web, opening a download or email attachment, or connecting a USB flash drive. You rarely even notice that your PC has been infected - unless your anti-virus software has averted the danger.
Even if there are threats everywhere, you don't have to pull the network cable and stop surfing. With the software you need and a critical look at websites, downloads and email, you don't have to worry.
Anti-virus software: The be-all and end-all for virus protection is an anti-virus program that always receives updates. So you are also protected against the latest viruses. Good and free software is available from Avira, Avast, AVG, Comodo and BitDefender.
Firewall: Firewall is enabled by default on Windows. It controls all incoming and outgoing connections and blocks them in case of anomalies.
Updates: To keep your system and programs safe, you should always install the latest updates for Windows and only use the latest versions of your programs.
Virus: A virus consists of only one file that contains malicious code. It introduces the virus into a program, usually makes it unusable and then tries to spread further.
Trojan: The Trojan is also known as the Trojan horse, because the user installs a supposedly useful program from which a threat then emerges. Other types of malware are usually smuggled in.
Adware: Adware is the most harmless form of virus because it does not really harm your system. It usually nests itself in the browser as a toolbar or add-on and tries to display advertisements and influence your surfing behavior.
Spyware: Spyware collects sensitive data that you store on your computer or enter when banking online. The information is then sent to the creator of the spyware.
Worm: A worm works similarly to a virus, but does not primarily infect programs. Worms are more likely to infect storage media such as USB sticks and external hard drives.
Rootkit: A rootkit usually gets onto the PC via other malware such as a Trojan and allows the creator access to certain parts of your system.
Backdoor: These "backdoors" are infiltrated by other malware and also allow the creator permanent access to your system.
Exploit: An exploit exploits security gaps in the system or in programs and can even control the entire PC.
Keylogger: You document every keystroke on your keyboard. For example, if you enter your account number and PIN in online banking, the keylogger sends the data to its creator.
Ransomware: This type of malware uses software to block parts of your system and demands a ransom for release.
Rogueware, also known as scareware, is software that pretends to be a virus scanner, for example. After the alleged discovery of numerous viruses, the program requires the purchase of the full version to remove the fictitious threats.