7 Most Common Types of Malware and How To Prevent them in 2023

Most Common Types of malware

Most Common Types of Malware – Our computers, tablets and smartphones are always exposed to the risk of being attacked by computer viruses . Our data but also our safety are always in danger, it is important that PCs, mobile phones and other devices are equipped with effective antivirus systems against all types of malware . In this article, I’ll explain what the possible risks are and how to defend yourself.

Most Common Types of Malware

The term malware refers to all malicious software ( MALicious softWARE ) that can infect digital devices. Initially they were few and were known only as viruses but over time they specialized and today it is possible to divide them into categories

Types of viruses or malware:

  • Adware
  • Backdoors
  • Ransomware
  • Rootkits
  • Spyware
  • trojans
  • Worms


The category of adware owes its name to the combination of the words advertising and malware . This type of virus is created with the purpose of showing advertisements to the victims .

Normally adware manifests itself through browsers , the effects are the opening of annoying pop-ups, the insertion of advertising banners on loaded pages, the opening of unwanted sites.

Advertisements are almost always in high-yield sectors such as adult sites or betting sites: if you notice a proliferation of these types of ads, be suspicious.

The most advanced adware spies on your browsing data to show you targeted advertising based on your interests.


Literally a backdoor is a back door, a way of accessing the system other than the one normally allowed.

It is used to bypass authentication procedures by accessing the device from a network connection or the Internet. Once the virus takes effect and the backdoor is installed, the system is compromised.

A virus can open one or more backdoors to allow unwanted access to the device , without the user being aware of it.


This is the malware that has done the most damage lately, its action consists of encrypting all the data on the attacked device with a secret key. The purpose of the creator of the virus is to obtain a ransom ( ransom = ransom ).

All data such as

  • documents
  • photos
  • video
  • sound clips

they are in fact taken hostage even if they are still available on your computer, tablet, smartphone.

To free your data you need the keys to unlock it , the attackers usually ask for a payment in cryptocurrency to give you the secret key that will give you back access to the data.

I advise you to make backups frequently so as not to be a victim of ransomware . A clean copy of your data will allow you, after wiping the device, to restore them without paying anything.


Rootkit is a type of malware that hides the activity of other types of viruses . Its action modifies the operating system of the infected device. In particular, it acts on the list of active processes, hiding from antivirus the malicious software that the rootkit wants to favor.


Among the various types of malware, spyware is the least obvious, this is precisely its characteristic. It is a type of virus that aims to collect data from the infected device and communicate it to the creators of the spy software. It acts silently by collecting and transmitting personal, sensitive and financial data. Often the object of spyware’s attention are the bank details of the unfortunates.

Its activity is incessant and can last for a very long time, until it is identified and removed.

A curiosity: even today there are many devices infected with spyware that have outlived their creators. Many virus writers have been caught and their activities stopped, meanwhile their spyware continues to collect and transmit data which thankfully will no longer be received and collected.


The trojan owes its name to the epic Trojan Horse and just like the infamous wooden horse devised by Odysseus it is designed to appear for what it is not . A trojan is usually malware contained in other programs or archives.

It is hidden inside compressed archives (.zip and .rar files) in order not to be detected by antiviruses. The creator often tries to play on the users’ desire to get something for free (a valuable piece of software, a movie, a book, an e-mail attachment) to get them to give consent which can be dangerous.

If you are not absolutely sure where the files you are about to open are coming from, I strongly advise against doing so. If the trojan succeeds in its intent to pass the barrier checks, it installs itself and begins its activity, often aimed at granting access to other types of viruses .


The worm ( worm ) is a piece of malware capable of transmitting itself across networks . Its specialty, like that of worms, is to reproduce autonomously. A worm is capable of self-replicating by creating new copies of itself both on the infected device and on others connected to it through a network.

Its action takes up a lot of resources and its effect is very often to slow down the device and the infected networks until they are unusable.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Remove Malware & Viruses From PC

What damage do the various types of malware cause?

We have said that malware is software, a program, usually of small dimensions, which is introduced into computer systems with the aim of performing certain actions. Usually these actions benefit the creator of the virus and harm the systems that have been infected.

But what are the possible damages? What are the risks you run?

The risks can be many and very different from each other: a piece of malware is capable of

  • cause the infected device to perform unwanted actions
  • use the infected device as a conduit to get to other devices
  • read even sensitive data such as emails and credentials
  • transfer data to other devices such as important documents or photos
  • direct browsers to malicious sites to generate money
  • lead users to commit serious errors
  • encrypt data and documents for ransom
  • steal codes and licenses
  • use device resources for own purposes (cryptocurrencies)

How to defend against different types of malware?

The victims of viruses are often digital devices but just as often they can be the users of these devices.

To defend yourself in the best way, therefore, you need to do two important things

  1. install anti-virus software on devices
  2. behave cautiously

There are different systems to defend themselves and each operating system has its own.

Computers running Windows, MacOS can install antivirus software or use the one that comes standard, for example with Windows 10.

In general, Apple’s systems are considered more secure, but if you install cracked software or third-party apps, your security is at great risk. The same goes for computers running Linux. The use of an antivirus in these cases is strongly recommended.

Much the same speech for smartphones and tablets. Mobile phones with Android and iOS systems are considered low risk. It is not so. Android smartphones and Iphones are not as safe as you think and, inside them, we all keep the most important secrets of our lives. There’s no need to risk it, let’s install antivirus on our mobile phones too!

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