The definition of malware comes from combining two words: malicious + software = malware. Malware is software designed to work against the interests of the owner of a system or device. Some types can find their own way into your device, while others need to be planted there.
What does malware do? Its effects vary in severity, from tracking relatively harmless data to holding your device at ransom or destroying it for fun.
You’ll find malware types of every sort below. There are countless varieties out there, so we’ll stick to some of the most widespread malware examples. Here are the top most common types of malware:
Malware could infect your devices in several different ways. Here are a few of the most common ones:
The most popular method of spreading viruses is through email. Both simple spam and sophisticated phishing attacks still trick people into clicking on links or downloading attachments that contain malware.
If you click on any pop-up or advert that you come across while browsing, chances are, you’ll eventually end up on a malicious website. It will download malware in the background, and just like that, you’ll have a keylogger or a trojan on your device.
Some malware spreads from one device to another through the internal network. For example, someone in the office forgot their cybersecurity training and clicked on a malicious link. So the next day, everyone’s computers are infected, and all their files are encrypted, with no access to their accounts.
Malware is known for piggybacking. So even when you download a trustworthy piece of software, you might end up with more than you asked for. You can install malware together with legitimate software without even noticing, and it could be anything from slightly annoying adware to spyware stealing your banking data.
Changes in speed
Your device or browsers have slowed to a crawl
Your device frequently freezes or crashes
Apps acting weird
Programs on your computer open or close without warning
Files, add-ons, or apps on your device that you don’t recognize
Your security, browser, or app settings change without your consent
Unusual emails or texts that were sent without your permission
Your device overheats, or its battery drains super fast
Your phone bill has increased without you knowing why
Enjoy the all-round security provided by our apps. Protect your internet traffic, passwords, and files.
How NordVPN can help depends on the malware you’re up against.
Blocks dangerous websites
NordVPN’s built-in Threat Protection feature blocks access to malicious websites before they have a chance to trick you into infecting your device.
Deletes malicious files
Threat Protection scans the files you download and, if malware is detected, instantly deletes it.
Fends off pop-ups
Threat Protection blocks potentially malicious ads before you even get the chance to see them.
The encryption a VPN provides will close off numerous avenues of infiltration for potential hackers and their malware (but not all of them).