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The Difference Between Malware, Viruses and Ransomware Explained

Data Scientist & AI
・2 min read
  1. Virus
    Virus is a type of malicious software capable of self-replication. A virus needs human intervention to be ran and it can copy itself into other computer programs, data files, or in certain sections of your computer, such as boot sector of the hard drive. Once this happens these elements will become infected. Computer viruses are designed to harm computers and information systems and can spread through the internet, through malicious downloads, infected email attachments, malicious programs, files or documents. Viruses can steal data, destroy information, log keystrokes and more. The best way to avoid viruses from infecting your computers is to install multiple anti-virus software, and scan for virus regularly.

  2. Malware
    Malware or Malicious Software is an umbrella term that refers to software that is defined by malicious intent. This type of ill-intentioned software can disrupt normal computer operations, harvest confidential information, obtain unauthorised to computer systems, display unwanted advertising and more.

  3. Ransomware
    Ransomware is type of malware which encrypts all the data on a PC or mobile devices, blocking the data owner's access to it. After the infection happens, the victim receives a message that tells him/her that a certain amount of money must be paid in order to get the decryption key. Usually, there is also a time-limit for the ransom to be paid. There's also no guarantee that the, if the victim pays the ransom, he/she will get the decryption key. The most reliable solution is to back up your data in at least 3-5 different places and keep those backups up-to-date, so you don't lose important progress.

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