If you want to keep the financial records and personal information that is stored on your computer safe, you probably have antivirus software installed on your device. All of your information is not fully protected, however, because viruses are only one type of a broader category of security threats called malware. With the expansion of modern technology, there are now numerous ways for hackers to compromise and steal secure information. Because of this, it is vital to understand the difference between malware and viruses and learn how to protect your computer from all types of cyber security threats.

Viruses and malware are not interchangeable terms, as many people believe. Instead, viruses are a type of malware, which is a broad term for any kind of malicious software designed to harm and damage your computer. Although they were once the most common type of malware and are still one of the most well-known threats, viruses have given way to numerous other types of security threats. Each of the threats listed below is a type of malware.

  • Bots
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Phishing

Every type of malware is some kind of software that is specifically intended to damage computers. Bots allow the invading malware to take over your computer. Spyware tracks everything you do online to compromise information and steal financial records. Adware is advertisement you do not consent to that places other security threats inside your computer. Keystroke loggers record and store personal information, while worms inject your device with damaging software that could destroy it. While each of these threats act differently and affect various aspects of your computer, they are all considered malware because they compromise cyber security.

If you want to protect your computer, it is not enough to just have an antivirus program installed. While these programs are commonly thought to protect your computer from all types of cyber security threats, in reality they only defend against worms and viruses. Other types of malware can still invade your system and cause irreparable damage. For complete protection, choose an anti-malware program that offers full protection from any type of security threat.

Regardless of which type it is, any kind of malware attack is a bad thing. You could lose control of your device, become a victim of identity theft, or be exposed to financial fraud in the blink of an eye if your computer is exposed to any kind of malware. The best defense is preventing the threats from being able to invade your security, and this is accomplished by installing a comprehensive anti-malware program on your computer. If you want to avoid becoming part of a botnet or losing control of your computer, select a modern security package that offers protection from all threats, not just from viruses and worms.