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The term malware refers to any type of software designed to damage or hijack computer systems, mobile devices, and enterprise networks. Viruses, spyware, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, rootkits, and adware all fit under this umbrella term. These threats are aimed at a variety of goals: making money, disrupting productivity, stealing sensitive data, or spying on your activity.

Each of these malware types have their own unique way of infecting systems and operating devices. But they all rely on some type of user action to work. Most of the time, they are hidden in executable files. Some strains also work by attaching themselves to other programs. When those other programs are run or accessed, the malware is automatically executed and begins working toward the hackers’ goals.

Whether you’re dealing with annoying pop-up ads, sluggish apps that don’t open as quickly as they used to, or error messages informing you of lost or corrupted files, there are many signs that your device is infected with malware. Malware can also hog system resources, leading to a slow experience.

If you think your iPhone or iPad may have been compromised, you can factory reset the device and restore it from a backup in iCloud or iTunes. Then, install a secure mobile security app like Malwarebytes for iOS to screen and block scam calls and texts. You can also download the iOS Safe Browser, a free tool from Apple to help protect you from malicious websites.