Malware vs spyware vs ransomware – what’s the difference?

Malware is simply any program that is designed to specifically damage or interrupt the normal workings of a computer. The word ‘malware’ is often used synonymously with viruses, but more accurately it’s an umbrella term used to include bots, phishing schemes, Trojans, worms, rootkits, and many other threats. Two of the most damaging malware are spyware and ransomware.

Windows devices used to be at far more risk than other operating systems, but now Mac users are just as susceptible to them, as are mobile devices. When computers are infected, malware can cause obsessive popups, new programs to appear on your desktop, slows computer processes, and even redirect you to malicious websites. Some threats target personal information to be sold to identity thieves while others force you to pay ransom for them to be removed.

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