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Malware, short for malware-infected software, is a dangerous program that can infect your computer and steal information. These malicious programs can be downloaded from websites or through email attachments.

Definition: Malware is a type of computer virus that can corrupt or delete data, use your email to spread, or erase everything on your hard drive. It may also cause your computer to slow down or even shut down.

Virus Malware: The most common form of malware, viruses piggyback on existing programs to spread across infected systems. They can also perform a variety of payloads, including corrupting or deleting data, destroying operating systems, or delivering a payload at a certain date.

Worms: Self-replicating, worms can clone themselves and spread through emails, text messages, file-sharing programs, network shares, and removable drives. They typically go unnoticed until replication reaches a scale that consumes system resources or network bandwidth.

Backdoors: Hackers use backdoors to remotely access a device from another location or device, often through a web browser. They can also allow hackers to take control of an entire network, compromising a company’s infrastructure.

Mobile devices: Smartphones are increasingly popular and carry more private data than computers. This makes them a bigger target for hackers.

Cyberwarfare: Governments can use malware to spy on other countries and large corporations. They can also use it to sabotage or extort money from victims.

Tech support scams: This form of malware lures users into paying for unnecessary technical support by pretending to be a representative from a software company. It can then install unwanted software on a victim’s device and modify their web browsing experience, security settings, or downloads.