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What is Malware?

What is Malware?

Malware is short for malicious software. This is software that someone has programmed for nefarious reasons and poses a risk to any machine it infects. Viruses do come under malware as it is also malicious software but not all malware are viruses. Malware include things like:

Trojans - software pretending to be something its not, Spyware - monitors your activity without you knowing, Adware - those annoying pop-up ads on your desktop that plagued the 90s, Worms - a self-replicating piece of code that infects computers without human intervention, Viruses – a self-replicating piece of code that infects computers from a host file


What is AntiMalware and why do you need it

Antimalware software is similar to Antivirus software however Antimalware is proactive vs Antivirus’s reactive approach. Antivirus works but scanning files and checking with a database for a match for any known viruses that can spread and threaten the security of your machine and other’s. Virus detection is usually done for legacy code which is older more well-documented malicious software, so things that are very dangerous but have been around for a long time. Antimalware however works on dealing with the newest malware and is actively trying to detect any code running on a machine that is suspicious and isolate it from your machine while also feeding back to a database for older threats as well. Antimalware is a bit more comprehensive than most Antivirus software as it covers the likes of Trojans, adware, worms, as well as viruses.


What to do if you think you have malware

If you think you have malware on you machine there are plenty of free options you can download to combat the malware. A lot of premium options also come with a free trial to really give your machine a deep clean. A good recommendation is Malwarebytes with their free 30 days premium trial where you can do a full system scan and it will detect any suspicious code running on your machine.


How to get rid of malware and viruses

Most of the time getting rid of malware is pretty straight forward. If you think you have malware of any kind run a system scan on your antivirus/antimalware software and see if anything is flagged. If you don’t have any antivirus/antimalware software there are free option out there including free trials for premium versions. If your current security software doesn’t flag anything up and something doesn’t seem right, download the alternate type of security. For example you have antivirus software and its not showing anything suspicious, download antimalware and run a system scan with that and vice versa. Sometimes getting rid of malware can be very frustrating. Antimalware/Antivirus software doesn’t always find the cause of the virus or malware even if you try a couple and it remains on your machine undetected this is where it can be a bit of a wild goose chase. The easiest way to deal with this is to either reset or format your machine but you would lose your files in the process. Another is spending a lot of time clearing caches, removing cookies and temp files and resetting browser settings etc. It’s very tedious and doesn’t always work but if you have irreplaceable files this worth a try and can work. But this is why you should always have antimalware to protect your machine with so it can catch the malware at the point of download before it can infect and “hide” in your machine.

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