What Is The Difference Between Malware And Spyware And A Virus?

Posted by Info Email User on Thursday, March 29, 2018

Brainwave_Computers_How Do I Know if I Really Have a Virus-1

Most of us are familiar with the term computer virus. That seemed simple enough to understand; viruses are bad. Now there seem to be new terms like spyware, ransomware, trojans worms and you may be wondering what is the difference.

To keep it simple, everything falls under the term malware. Malware is a combination of two words “malicious” and “software”. Anything intentionally bad to hurt your computing experience is considered malware. Viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and ransomware are all considered malware. Let’s break down what each of those types of malware are.


Some malware is named by how it is delivered to your computer. Here are some examples of Malware based on delivery.


A virus is a generic term that has a very fitting name. Just like a real virus that may infect your ears, throat or chest, a computer virus infects part of your operating systems and until it is removed makes that part of your operating system less functional. It’s like a sinus infection.


Worms are like viruses except they don’t necessarily latch on to a system. They self-replicate and get bigger and take up more space on your hard drive. You may not even notice them until they get big enough and take up too much space. Imagine your computer infected by a tapeworm.


These are a reference to the way the Greeks were able to enter the city of Troy undetected. They hid inside a “gift” shaped like a giant horse and they were inside the city gates without anybody knowing it. This is the same concept for a Trojan Malware. You may think you are downloading or installing one thing, when in fact you are inviting a virus to attack your computer.


The other terms for naming malware is based on what they do. Not all malware functions the same way and some are more damaging than others. Here are the descriptions of malware below.


This is software that is tracking your behavior. It could be watching your camera, tracking your keystrokes, or spying on what websites you visit.  The most malicious types of spyware are the ones that monitor your mouse movements and keyboard strokes.


These are resurging and used by criminals to make money. Ransomware usually prevents you from using your computer normally and tries to take you to a website that asks for a payment to release the “lock” on your computer. Do not go to the website and do not pay anybody for ransomware. There is no guarantee that your computer will be fixed after you make the payment. If it feels like they are holding your computer for ransom—then they are. Take it a computer repair shop immediately and have them remove the ransomware.


Don’t let viruses stop you in your day to day life! Has your computer slowed down? Did files go missing from your laptop? It’s possible your computer may have a virus. Fortunately, BrainWave offers virus removal for your laptop and computers! Don’t let your computer slow you down!

Learn more about Virus Removal from Brainwave! Or Give Us A Call At (503) 626-6264