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Malware is software that causes harm to a computer or other device. It includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other forms. They can be downloaded or delivered to a machine through emails, links, or downloads.

Viruses are typically contained within an executable file. Upon execution, they damage files or the system’s core functions. Some viruses also steal confidential information.

Other forms of malware are delivered through social media or email. They can affect your web browsing and alter the settings on your device. In some cases, they even demand a ransom for a decryption key.

Worms can infect your entire network of devices. Their goal is to cause chaos. Sometimes, they can even shut you off from your files.

Other types of malware are sent through fake security alerts. These can trick you into downloading bogus antivirus or security software. If you suspect that your system is infected, disconnect from the internet immediately. Also, make sure that you update your antivirus software.

A Trojan Horse can be hidden in a legitimate program, or it can appear as a benign program that you can’t remove. Once it’s installed, it can download additional malware.

Another type of malware is called “spyware.” It collects your personal information. Several of these programs are also known as keyloggers. These programs monitor your keystrokes and provide attackers with information on your private emails and other sensitive data.

The most threatening form of malware is ransomware. It locks your computer or phone and asks you to pay a fee to gain access.