Wondering "what does malware mean," and you'll get a standard definition that doesn't really tell you much about the true dangers of malicious software. Is malware a computer virus? How do you contract malware, and how do you remove it? Dealing with malware goes far beyond its meaning, so keep these tips in mind when you're stuck dealing with malicious software.
Malware is harmful software that can cause serious damage.
So, what does malware means? The word "malware" itself is short for "malicious software." It's called malicious software because it has negative, harmful intent. Malware typically causes serious damage to your computer, and it can even steal identity information and help criminals perpetuate identity theft.
Beware of malware, and protect your computer to avoid serious damage and sometimes long-term damage. Malware and viruses can be contracted in the same way, so practice safe Web surfing practices, and install only software from a trusted provider to ensure you're protected from threats.
Malware information doesn't highlight the potential threat.
The term malware doesn't do a good job of capturing the risk for serious harm that threatens your computer when you contract malware. Some malware randomly deletes files or corrupts programs so that you can't run them. Other types of malware are so smart that, when you try to remove them, they simply won't let you, and they can actually grow and spread to infect other parts of your computer.
Malware can corrupt your file system and damage your computer and its contents so severely that you may need to format your hard drive to erase all data. Malware can also cause potentially serious damage to your finances and identity by stealing sensitive personal information and sending it back to a third-party source, who can use it to ruin existing accounts or open new accounts and abuse them.
A computer virus can be malware.
By definition, a computer virus is a very narrow subset of one type of malware. Computer viruses are named thusly because they replicate themselves like a human virus and feed on the host computer or program. Many types of malware aren't viruses at all, but they fall into other subsets, such as worms, bots or adware. However, while malware isn't necessarily a virus, most viruses are malware.
Anti-virus programs may be able to remove malware.
While anti-virus programs are designed in such a way as to remove viruses from your computer, many anti-virus programs can also remove certain types of malware. Consult your anti-virus program documentation to determine whether or not it can remove malware.
If your anti-virus software does claim to remove malware, make sure you keep your virus definitions up-to-date to combat the latest malware threats. Viruses form only a small subset of the malware that can harm your computer, so having a good software program to protect your computer from both viruses and malware can save you from a lot of damage.
You may have a good security system installed on your computer, but you are still vulnerable to a malware attack if you have a habit of downloading items of unknown origin.
What is the definition of malware? The word "malware" means "malicious software," but malware can cause many different types of problems on your computer.