Malware Can Steal Your Passwords & Collect Personal Information
Updated: May 20
Malware is a kind of intentionally created software that can be installed on a computer without approval from the computer's owner and is typically described as a software bug. Malware does the damage after it is implanted or introduced in some way into a target's computer and can take the form of directly executable code, scripts, so-called "active content" (Microsoft Windows), and other forms of data.
Some kinds of malware are largely referred to in the media as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and scareware, among other terms. These programs can steal passwords, delete files, collect personal information, or even stop a computer from working at all.
The number of malware programs on the Internet has grown very quickly ever since then the late 1990s and is still growing today. Experts think that 31.5% of the world's computers have some type of malware installed. Today, malware is used by both black hat hackers and governments, to steal personal, financial, or business information.
Common way to get malware into computer is through email attachments or malware installs itself is when a victim clicks a website with the malware hidden on it. This is called drive-by downloading. People who write malware also get their programs onto computers by attaching them to real programs that people want. This is most common with pirated programs. This is because the downloader was doing something illegal and cannot complain to the authorities without getting in trouble themselves. However, some non-piracy websites also put malware in a download with real, legal software in a process known as bundling.
Computer security or anti-malware software is usually good at stopping malware from installing itself. When security software is not installed, malware can get into the computer. Getting rid of malware can be difficult, even when using programs designed to remove it.