All you need to know about malware: Trojan, viruses, rootkit, ransomware, spyware

If you regularly use a computer, the internet or you often share files with other computer uses, you must have heard common words like virus, spyware, Trojan etc. it is a common believed that all of them (malware) are viruses that can be very harmful to our computers. While this is partially true, not all of them are viruses. They all have their characteristics and what they are designed to do.

In this article, we will discuss the different type of malware and the threat they pose.

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What is Malware?

The term Malware was from two words “Malicious” and “software”. Malware are software designed and used by criminally minded developers to try to steal information from private computers. Every time we access the internet, open an email or download a content from the internet, we are exposed to such attacks. These malware can come from different sources; external storage devices, downloaded files, audios, images and videos.

Malware are of different types including virus, worm, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware etc.


Virus is a very common malware and it is the most used malware to cause damage to a computer and steal vital information. They have the ability to execute themselves and spread to other computers and devices.


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Unlike virus that collect modified and corrupted files, worms consume network bandwidth. They are much more dangerous because they can be activated automatically without human interaction or directives from the malware developer.


Trojan is a type of malware that appear as a legitimate and harmless program, just to gain access to a computer system. It must be executed by its victim to do its work. The most common type of Trojan is the fake antivirus program that shows up and claims you’re infected.


In the early stages of spyware, it was only used to monitor pages visited by user, and other browsing habits. but overtime, spyware have been used and is still being used to steal information from a computer and even change the computer settings.


Rootkit simply takes over the control of your operating system without your consent, and also without been detected. They are the most effective way to attack a computer without being detected because of its ability to hide from almost all antivirus programs.


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Adware are not harmful to our computers, they are only annoying. They are programs that automatically displays and downloads advertisement on your computer with users being unable to interfere.


Keyloggers are basically used to monitor all the activities of users on their computers. They include email activities, keystrokes and web pages visited.


Ransomware is designed to infect and encrypt system data. Cyber-criminals use this to demand ransom payment from vulnerable individuals in exchange for the decryption of their computer system’s data.


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