Computers have different ways in which they can stop performing normally. It ranges from hardware failure to software problems and eventually programs that in a way control or influence the way your laptop operates. These types of subjects are categorized by the way they take over a computer. For those who are not familiar with computer terminology they are known to the common computer user as a virus and its official term is malware. There are various types of malware which have different ways of being installed and share the same goal of damaging a computer. Some, of the risk factors range from random pop ups, to obtaining personal information, and destroying computer data.

The categories involve:

Virus – a program that is self reproducing with the need of a host. It replicates itself and replaces the users documents and data with low to middle scale damaging effects.

Worm – this type of malware is also based on self replication onto the users computer. But, does not need a host like the virus. The damages are very similar to the virus.

Trojan – this malware gives the user an expression that a program is real and when they download it and run it. The user themselves has installed the malware, which has risk factors of pop ups, destroying data, and gives computer access to the person behind the false program.

Adware – pop up advertisement on websites and are seen with programs that claim to be free but often have the malware. This malware could come together with spyware which tracks personal information and tracks user activity.

Ransomware – this malware encrypts the users documents and asks for money in exchange to recover the users files.

Malware can not physically damage computer hardware and the most common way malware appears on personal computers is through the user downloading unreliable programs themselves and visiting uncertain sites. There are steps to avoid installing malware. Things like updating computer software, firewall, virus protection, and downloading files. Are some common steps towards being protected.