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Malware is a broad term used to describe any program or file that is designed to be harmful to a computer, network, or device. It includes a range of different types of malicious software, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and ransomware.

A virus is a type of malware that replicates itself and spreads from one machine to another without the need for an action from the user. These viruses can be extremely destructive and can damage devices or systems by destroying data, hijacking core computing functions, monitoring end users’ activity, and stealing personal information.

Worms are similar to viruses, but they also replicate themselves and spread from one machine to another, clogging up networks with bandwidth demands and interrupting service. They can also be used to install additional malicious software onto infected machines.

Spyware is a type of malware that collects personal information from the victim’s system, such as their web browsing history and passwords. It may also send this information to an attacker.

Adware is an example of a malicious program that displays unwanted ads on the screen of the victim’s computer. It also gathers personal information and uses this to serve up more personalized advertisements on the victim’s screen.

Ransomware is a malicious program that encrypts files and makes them unavailable for access until a ransom is paid. It may also delete the files it has encrypted.

There are many ways to get malware, from visiting unsafe websites or opening email attachments to downloading infected files from untrustworthy sources. Always check that the software you download is made by a reputable company and follow all instructions for installation and use.