Derived from the words "malicious" and "software", malware is a type of program designed to steal information or cause internal damage to a computer. A lot of people confuse malware as a type of virus, when in fact malware is any kind of software that is intended by the developer to cause harm within another system or exploit other people's personal information. On the other hand, a computer virus is a small software that is purposely designed to spread from one computer to another and interfere with various computer operations. In other words, harmful software such as viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, and worms are categorized as malware and are generally harmful to any computer unit or even to the user if not taken cared of once malware infection signs are evident.
The threats of computer virus infections have increased in parallel to the number of internet users all over the world today. Unlike in the '90s where malware were only regarded as the result of experimentations and pranks by curious developers trying to expand their skills, malware today keeps evolving as a medium to wreak havoc and cause crimes in the cyber world. Compared to over a century ago where computers were yet to be introduced to households and access to the internet was limited, the spread of computer viruses today have become instantaneously rampant due to quick technological evolution - more and more tasks now require the use of technology while the internet has played a significantly important role in information sharing. Through the amplification of data and information sharing provided by the internet, the transmission of harmful software is now made more rampant all over the globe. Almost anyone from any part of the world can become a victim of malware; no one - not even your computer system - is exempted from the risk of a virus infection. Symptoms of a virus infection usually surface in the form of slow start-ups, slow programs, disabled hardware, and cause error messages to appear. Moreover, the damages a computer virus is capable of can range from minor computer problems like slowing down your e-mail, corrupting system files, and damaging or deleting data; to major dilemmas like identity theft, enabling other users to hijack your computer, and even cause you embarrassment or damage your credibility as an individual.
Computer viruses can be very dangerous, both to your computer and even to the user. As the threats of malicious software increase, reasons to protect your computer from it pile up as well. It is therefore important for computer users to protect your computer from various malware infection with the help of anti-malware programs that are designed to identify, quarantine and remove such harmful software at the very first sign of infection.
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