ReviewFyer / Articles / Software / Anti-Malware / Our beginners guide to Malware

Our beginners guide to Malware

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated March 22, 2023

person checking phone and laptop


Malware is a serious security concern for anyone on the internet. It’s something every cybersecurity expert should be aware of, and it’s important to understand what malware is, how it works, and how to protect yourself from it. As an experienced cybersecurity professional, I’m going to answer all those questions in this article, so let’s dive right in!

Malware is bad software that is made by criminals who want to steal sensitive information or take control of your computer. It can range from simple viruses that spread through emails or downloads to advanced programs that are difficult to detect until they’ve already done their damage. Malware has been around since the beginning of the internet age, but recent developments have made it even more dangerous than ever before.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can protect yourself against malware attacks. From basic precautions like running antivirus ( or antimalware ) scans regularly to more complex approaches such as using encryption tools and two-factor authentication, there are many steps you can take to make sure your information stays safe online. In this article, I’ll explain each one in detail so you can start building up your defense today!

What is Malware?

So before we go any furhter into talking about how to prevent infections, or anything else let's take a look at what Malware is. While it might not be as popular of a term as a Virus it is pretty similar. Malware is like a virus, infecting the computer and wreaking havoc on its operations. It’s an umbrella term used to describe malicious software that can cause harm or steal data from computers, mobile phones, and even websites. As technology advances and digital threats become more pervasive, understanding that malware is becoming increasingly important for everyone who uses digital devices.

When trying to define malware, it’s important to understand the different types of cyberattacks. Malware encompasses any type of malicious code designed to infiltrate computer systems without authorization. This includes Trojans, worms, ransomware, viruses, spyware, adware, botnets, and rootkits—all of which are capable of stealing information or damaging a user’s device in some way. These attacks often use social engineering techniques such as phishing emails or SMS messages that appear legitimate but contain malicious links or attachments that can install malware onto your device when clicked upon.

So while you could probably use Malware and a Virus interchangeably without causing much issue we know that there are some people that want to use very specific terms. So for us, we will be grouping these type of infections in a group that is pretty much a program that is malicious and is only created to damage other peoples computers.   But we will try to get it a bit more in depth in the next section by looking at the specific types of malware there is, more so based on their actions and intent.

Types of Malware

Moving on from the definition of malware, let’s take a look at the various forms this malicious software can take. Malware comes in many shapes and sizes, each with its own unique purpose. Generally speaking, there are five main categories of malware: computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware, and adware.

  • Computer viruses are a type of malware that copies itself by putting copies of itself into other programs or files on your device. It spreads through email attachments, instant messages, and file-sharing networks.

  • Trojan Horses: Unlike computer viruses, Trojan Horses do not replicate themselves but rather act as carriers for more sinister payloads such as ransomware or keyloggers, which allow hackers to gain access to personal data stored on your device.
  • Worms: Worms are similar to viruses in that they spread across devices without user intervention; however, unlike a virus, they don’t require an executable program to be present in order to propagate. They often rely on security vulnerabilities in operating systems or applications to spread quickly between computers connected via network connections like those found in workplaces.

  • Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware designed specifically for the purpose of collecting information about users’ activities and sending it back to third parties without their knowledge or consent. This includes tracking internet usage patterns and recording keystrokes entered on keyboards.

  • Adware: Adware is another form of unwanted software that displays advertisements when you browse online, either within webpages or in popups while using certain applications—typically ones where revenue has been generated through ads shown alongside content previously viewed by users.

Malicious software can cause serious damage, both financially and emotionally, so pretty much it is something that you want to avoid. I have never really heard of someone happy that they got infected by malware, so let's look at the ways to prevent infections in our next section.

How to avoid being infected by malware

Stopping malware can seem hard, but there are a few key things you can do to keep your devices safe. In this day and age, cyber security is important, so it's important to stay alert and take the steps you need to protect yourself from bad software.

The first step is to invest in anti-malware software. This type of program will detect computer viruses early on and help prevent them from infiltrating your system. Additionally, make sure that all of the software on your device is up-to-date with the latest versions; outdated programs may have vulnerabilities that malware could exploit.

You really have to keep in mind that while you are online you are open to a lot of possible exploits. So even if you think an email link is going to get you cute puppy pictures don't open suspicious links or download files unless they’re from trusted sources. Taking these precautions will ensure you stay safe while surfing the web and minimize any potential damage caused by malware.


Malware is a major threat to the security of any computer system, and it’s important to understand how it works in order to protect yourself. As we have been doing reviews on the best antimalware programs on the market we have a good idea of what you need to look for to stay safe.

Taking preventative measures to stop malicious software from getting into your network is not only a good idea, but it is also a must. Installing anti-virus programs, keeping firewalls up-to-date, and educating personnel about cyber threats are just some examples of things we need to do. It’s like having a virtual army at our disposal! By taking these preventative measures, you will have the best chance of staying safe while you are online.