Determining whether malware such as viruses, spyware, worms or Trojans have attacked your computer can be a daunting task. Authors of malicious software usually disguise their work sophisticatedly though signs of computer infections are identifiable. It’s useful to know the different types of computer infections and the ways they can negatively affect your computer, so let’s explore.

Types of computer infection

Viruses designed to infect computer systems

These viruses attack one computer after another through shared links as well as uploaded and downloaded files. When people link and share information carelessly without using a potent antivirus for protection, they spread these programmes to other users.

Spyware, adware and ransomware

Spyware is malicious software designed to attack your computer and collect sensitive data to forward to a third-party.

Adware is not really a malware per se, but it can become malicious and harm or slow your device down or even hijack your browser and install viruses.

Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks access to a computer system and threatens to publish sensitive data until a ransom is paid.

Worms similar to viruses

Computer worms are standalone malware computer programmes that duplicate themselves in order to spread to other devices. Worms typically use computer networks to spread themselves. They usually rely on security failures in the host computer to spread to other computers.

The impact of computer infections

Once a virus or malware infects your computer, the extent of the impact is based on the scope and type of infection. Below are a few possible negative effects of computer infections:

Slow performance: When malware infects your computer, the processing speed slows down. So, doing your usual work or checking a quick fact on your computer may begin to take an increasingly long time.

Loss of functionality: A virus-like Trojan can degrade the performance or programming of your computer to the extent of even damaging it permanently.

Exposure to other malicious software: Some malware is designed particularly to lure you into downloading even more malicious software.

Loss of information: Certain viruses end up deleting stored files or data in your devices, causing you to lose essential personal and company information.

Breach of privacy: Certain infections are there to gather your personal or company data such as bank or credit card information. Hackers steal your identity for fraudulent purposes like spending your money at your expense.

Whatever your personal or business computer IT security needs may be, our online-only IT Helpdesk is your go-to remote service to get the best 24 hours small business IT support and services in Australia.