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malware vs virus

Malware vs. virus

Malware is an umbrella term for any malware that was written specifically to infect the system and also harm the host system or its user. Computer virus is just one type of malware. Just as all squares are rectangles (but not all rectangles are squares), all viruses are malware but not all malware is a virus.

So if you are wondering if malware and viruses are the same the answer is "no". The malware category includes viruses spyware adware ransomware and other malicious software. 

Knowing the differences between types of viruses and other types of malware software is helpful when it comes to prevention as well as removal.

A computer virus is designed to copy itself and spread it to other devices as widely as possible just as a biological virus infects its host replicates itself and spreads to new hosts. 

Computer viruses multiply by infecting applications and e-mail and they can be transmitted through removable storage infected sites, email attachments, and even network routers.

What exactly the virus does depends on its level of sophistication. Malicious code simply corrupts your hard disk or deletes files. A more complex virus may be hiding on your computer and engaging in unwanted activities such as spamming. Highly advanced viruses called polymorphic viruses change their code to evade detection.

What is malware? (malware vs virus)

Malware is software written specifically to harm and infect the host system. Malware includes viruses along with other types of software such as Trojans worms spyware and adware. 

Advanced malware such as ransomware is used to commit financial fraud and extortion of money from computer users.

Common Types of Malware

1. Virus

2. Spyware

3. worms

4. Trojan

5. Ransomware

1. Virus

As mentioned a virus is a certain type of malware in itself. It is a sticky piece of code that infects the other software in the host system and spreads as soon as it is activated. 

It is best known for distributing when software is shared between computers. It behaves more like a parasite.

2. Spyware

This type of malware spying on you monitors your web activities. It helps a hacker to gather information about the victim's system without the victim's consent. The presence of this spyware is usually hidden from the host and very difficult to detect. 

Some spyware like keychains may be intentionally installed in an organization to monitor employee activity.

3. Worms

This type of malware will duplicate itself and destroy information and data files stored on the host computer system. It works to eat all the system executable files and data files on the drive.

4. Trojans

Trojans are a type of virus designed to make a user think they are a safe program and run them. They may be programmed to steal personal and financial information and later take over the resources of the host's system files. 

In large systems, it may try to make a host system or network resource unavailable to those trying to access it. Example: Your business network will not be available.

5. Ransomware

Ransomware is an advanced type of malware that restricts access to the computer system until the user pays a fee. Your screen may display a pop-up warning that your lock is off your computer and that you can only access it after you pay the network criminal. 

The network criminal demands a ransom payment to remove the restriction. The infamous Cryptolocker is one type of ransomware.


It is very difficult to live without computer systems or mobile devices and we have come to depend on them for many activities like communication, online purchases, and payments, etc. 

To protect our devices and data from various types of malware mentioned above. An effective anti-malware solution is required. (Malwarebytes, avastcomodoKaspersky, etc). I hope you like the "malware vs virus" article.

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