Any kind of malicious software is considered to be a computer virus for the average computer user. Yet, these digital human made creatures are just a limited number of the existing malicious software. The best antivirus software protects you from different kinds of malware, not only viruses at best. Time for a list of the most common types of threats in the digital world.

A proper antivirus software defends and protects your computer from any kind of malicious software, not just viruses. The best software eliminates these different types of malicious software known as viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware and many more.


Malware is a collective term for malicious or dangerous and unwanted software. The word is an aggregation of the terms malicious and software. Malware can, for example, enter your computer via e-mail, files or software. Remember to never open suspicious files from attachments and think twice before clicking links.

Viruses and worms

Viruses and worms are the most common types of malware. A virus hides itself inside the code of another tool or program. Viruses can damage your computer or remove programs or data. Unlike other malicious software, a virus requires the user to open an infected program or tool to become active and spread.

Worms can be compared to viruses, but they do not require the user to open an infected program to become active. A worm is able to copy itself to another device and activate that copied version. This makes them even more dangerous and unpredictable.

Trojan horse or trojans

A trojan horse or trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate or useful application. The malicious software is concealed within the code of the host software and can be used by cybercriminals to steal your sensitive data and create a backdoor access to your system. However, as opposed to viruses and worms, trojan horses are unable to replicate themselves.


Spyware is software that will embed itself in your computer and spies on you as you navigate the internet or use the device to steal your user data. Spyware can scan the files on your hard drive, install other spyware and also read confidential data and send this information to scammers on the internet. However, it is not the most dangerous form of malware.


Ransomware is one of the greatest dangers of the moment, and that is because the hostage software is so effective. Ransomware encrypts your files and in order to decrypt them, you have to pay the ransom fee.

After being infected with a form of ransomware, it is a good idea to pull all the internet cables out of your computer. Some ransomware can spread over the local network or internet to other devices. You better not pay the ransom fee, seen some companies provide decryption tools for victims to get their files back.

Restore backups

If there is no decryption tool available to decrypt the ransomware that affected your computer, the best solution is to restore a previous backup of your data. At least if you have a recent backup. To recover most of the data in case of an infection, make regular backups of the files on your computer.


Seen we have discussed the most common and most dangerous malware, it is time for the most annoying ones. Adware is a malicious software designed to show advertisements on your screen, most often inside your web browser. Adware generates revenue for its developer through these advertisements.

After an infection with an adware, a user may experience that website links redirect to random sites or notice that different toolbars, extensions or plugins are activated within the web browser. Even your homepage may have changed without your permission.

While adware can be unpleasant, the threat level is lower compared to other malicious software in this list. The redirects pose the largest threat seen these links may contain other malicious programs.


A decent antivirus software allows you to scan your entire computer for malware. It is a good idea to run regular scans of your computer to detect and remove malware and prevent it from spreading on the device or network.

To protect your computer from malicious software, it is important to keep your computer and software updated. Software updates often include fixes that can solve any kind of vulnerabilities in the applications.

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11 thoughts on “Viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware explained | Tutorial

  1. Great post with a lot of useful information! I want to invest in antivirus software, but I’m not sure which one to choose. Which one do you recommend?

    1. Microsoft Defender is built-in in Windows 10 and is a decent tool to protect your computer. Bitdefender is another great alternative, but you are the best tool of all. Remember to not open links in e-mails and check whether or not the website is real and can be trusted.

  2. This was really interesting to read and great information to know! Would you recommend a specific antivirus program?

    1. Microsoft Defender is built-in in Windows 10 and is a decent tool to protect your computer. Bitdefender is another great alternative.

  3. I came across this article and find it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  4. This is such a great resource that you are providing. I enjoy to read posts of blogger that understand the content they write about and research the topic.

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