Malware is a collective term used to identify any computer program whose only purpose is to cause damage to the computer, server, or network in general & gain access to sensitive information from within. Most common malware includes viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, and more.
Malware can attack a computer or network through numerous methods. The most common type of malware is viruses.
Viruses can insert themselves into standalone programs and then force them to take malicious actions and reproduce themselves in the process.
The most common way malware spreads today is through infected links on websites or spam emails. Users who are generally unaware of this click on them only to get their systems infected and risk the entire network they are working on.
To put this into perspective, every minute, four companies globally fall victim to ransomware attacks. Over 7 billion ransomware attacks were reported in 2019 alone, and this number is only increasing day by day.
How to Prevent and Protect Against Malware?
To completely know how to protect yourself against malware, we first need to understand different malware & how they function. Malware is either classified on its type or on how they exploit the system once they are onboard.
Broadly there are three categories of malware based on its type:
A Worm: It is a standalone piece of malicious software that clones itself and spreads from device to device.
A Virus: It is a piece of code that hides inside the code of another standalone program & then forces that program to take malicious action and reproduce itself.
A Trojan: A trojan cannot reproduce itself and spread, but it is an exact copy of some useful common program like MS word document or a common application. Once the user unknowingly opens it, it gets activated and starts damaging the PC.
Other than these, malware can also be classified based on their end purpose from their creators. These include ‘spyware’ that intends to spy on your computer usage, gather all the data you send or receive, and share it with third parties. A ‘rootkit’ gives an intruder root-level access to your system and yet remains completely unknown.
‘Adware’ is a type of malware that redirects your browser window to 3rd party ad pages, which can further initiate the download or more adware. A more serious malware version is the ‘Ransomware’, where the intruders encrypt the target’s hard drive and demand a ransom in bitcoins to provide a decryption key.
Difference between Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware?
As we now know, a virus is a subset of malware, and malware is a collective term for many threats. Similarly, an antivirus-only program is an application that only offers protection against some of the most common and established viruses looming on your system. They might not offer protection against some of the more evolving types of threats.
An anti-malware is a more advanced type of antivirus and offers protection against threats beyond only viruses. They continuously scan your system against a database of known threats as well as suspicious behavior from apps and links that help it identify even newer threats easily. This is why you will find that most anti-malware today is also known as the end-point solution, aptly because they offer end-to-end malware protection.
The best way to protect yourself from malware is to use a trusted and effective anti-malware app on your system.
What is the Best Malware Removal Software?
1. Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender is one of the most prominent names when it comes to protecting your system against multiple threats. What is more important is that it does this without leaving an impact on your system resources and performance.
Bitdefender Total Security offers complete real-time data protection that includes network protection, multi-layer ransomware protection, advanced threat protection, parental controls, and vulnerability assessment. It further protects you from web-attacks and offers anti-phishing, anti-fraud, anti-tracking, and anti-spam features. What makes it even better is that it runs on auto-pilot mode to not have to worry about running scans.
Bitdefender Total Security protects up to ten devices in your household and supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. You can take advantage of the 30 days free trial of Bitdefender Total Security to see if it a good fit for you. If you plan to purchase the subscription, you can search for Bitdefender coupon codes and get the best discounts on your subscription.
2. Kaspersky Total Security
Kaspersky Total Security works as triple-layer protection. It secures devices and data by blocking common and complex evolving threats like viruses & malware like ransomware, spyware, and all the latest hacker tools.
It works by proactively detecting & locating device vulnerabilities & threats in real-time. It blocks cyber threats before they can catch hold by Instant neutralization. It further isolates & removes immediate dangers.
The Anti-hacking feature protects your system through network monitoring & the anti-ransomware stops, hackers, from breaking into your home network & intercepting your data.
The Real-time anti-malware works to protect you from common threats like worms & trojans to complex ones like botnets, rootkits & rogues. It scans for and instantly neutralizes threats, including spyware, adware, keyloggers, spear-phishing & even hard-to-detect attacks.
3. Norton 360
Norton 360 is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Norton’s protection technology includes a multi-level defense system to protect your devices against viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware. Its advanced security technology helps stop the latest attacks before reaching your device through the online threat protection feature.
The Smart Firewall feature protects sensitive information you exchange over the network from prying eyes and blocks any suspicious attempts from the bad guys to gain access to that data.
Malwarebytes boasts of powerful protection and clean-up with “set and forget” ease of use. Its solutions specialize in stopping infections & ransomware before reaching your device using innovative machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection offers cloud-based complete malware protection and remediation with precise & proactive threat detection.
5. Zemana Antimalware
Zemana Antimalware scans your PC in a fast and effective way to detect malware and facilitate instant removal. The Malware detection tool instantly detects and removes all types of annoying browser add-ons, adware, unwanted apps & toolbars, including any malware type on your device.
According to AV-TEST Institute, more than 350,000 new pieces of malware are detected every single day. There are nearly 980 million malware programs on the internet at this moment.
With the kind of ever-evolving threat from malware, it is always a good idea to have a trusted anti-malware program installed on your system alongside a good antivirus for all-round protection and a safe & secure browsing experience.