Malware is an umbrella term for any kind of malicious software designed to disrupt operation, steal information, or gain access to private computer systems.
Once upon a time, creating malware was an individual pursuit by lone cyber criminals or black hat hackers. Today malware is a fully fledged industry with a global marketplace, and ultimately used to make a profit.
Some Common Effects of Malware:
- Gaining access to your computer and personal files. This can happen most commonly through a trojan the user has unknowingly downloaded.
- Sending endless spam or ads to your email. Not only does this slow down computers and disrupt the user’s experience, but it also collects user data.
- Taking control of your computer as a ‘botnet’. Essentially an army of computers that will attack a single target.
- Collecting payment from a 3rd party. What might appear just to be a pop-up is actually a sophisticated and illegal process.
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