One thing we know and can say with certainty is that in today’s hyper-connected and digital world, cybercrime is rampant. Malware is the most commonly used and dangerous weapon. As the number of malware variants is steadily increasing, to fully understand the damage that malware can cause, you should familiarize yourself with the most common types of malware in 2022.
Despite the huge danger, it’s really amazing how easily malware can infiltrate your network. Of course, any malware can be used to steal financial information, passwords, and personal data, but their differences usually lie in their design and distribution.
With that said, to better understand the malware landscape, you need to know the most important sources of malware:
- Shared networks
All these sources can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious consequences.
In phishing, a hacker can get your mobile phone number or email address and send you a message on behalf of a real company to collect your sensitive information and use it against you.
When you download or share a torrent file, you may be attacked by whoever posted the malicious file on the platform, again with devastating consequences.
Finally, if you use a public network with at least one computer infected with malware, the same public network can infect your computer. The most effective solution to this problem is to use a VPN from the most trusted VPN providers.
Spyware is exactly what its name suggests – malware used to spy on your computer without your knowledge. Since spyware can collect a huge amount of information about you, from your email to credit card numbers, passwords and more, this is a huge privacy and security threat that we are constantly trying to minimize.
This malware usually enters your computer when you download other programs, mostly free ones. This is because attackers are counting on you to click “OK” on the terms and conditions without first reading the agreement.
However, sometimes spyware is not even mentioned in the agreement, which makes it ten times more dangerous. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent spyware:
- Use reliable anti-virus software, preferably with anti-spyware features.
- Do not open suspicious links from an unknown number
- Update your computer and mobile operating system regularly
There are many types of spyware, and each of them has its own set of actions. With that said, you should be aware of them and do everything in your power to prevent this malware from sneaking up on you.
#2 Malicious ads
Malicious advertising is a relatively new form of online attack which involves the distribution of malware through online advertisements. This type of malware can appear on a website in the form of legitimate advertisements and pop-ups.
Like spyware, this type of malware is disguised, which is why it is so dangerous. That being said, there are some things you should implement into your daily life to try and protect yourself from malicious ads.
Perhaps the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to invest in malware protection software. Another effective way to protect yourself is to use an ad blocker. The ad blocker will prevent both legitimate and fraudulent ads from appearing on your screen, minimizing the threat.
Finally, always make sure your plugins, browsers, and operating systems are up to date. Non-updated systems almost always contain security vulnerabilities that make it easier for a hacker to get into your privacy and ruin your day.
If you didn’t already know, Trojans are virus programs that can destroy files on your hard drive, so they are really dangerous. In addition, this type of virus can intercept and forward confidential information to an external address, which allows attackers to remotely control a computer.
Typically, there are many reasons why hackers use Trojans, from stealing and modifying data to installing additional malware and creating backdoors. Some of the most famous types of Trojans are Rootkit, Exploit and Backdoor.
Unlike a regular virus, a Trojan cannot spread on its own. Instead, it survives by hiding behind files and programs that you think you can trust. Unfortunately, this is why most people can’t even figure out what’s going on with their devices until it’s too late.
To avoid infection, make sure you only download trusted apps and files from trusted sources. Also, try to avoid visiting random sites and opening emails from people you don’t know.
If you’ve read the latest news, you probably already know that ransomware is on the rise. Ransomware attacks are expected to increase in the coming years of economic turmoil. Unfortunately, it is likely that these attacks will only be more successful and only make matters worse.
Needless to say, ransomware is the biggest malware threat in 2022. This type of malware works by gaining access to your device and then locking and encrypting sensitive data until the ransom is paid in full.
The biggest targets of these attacks are organizations that can pay quickly, firms with sensitive data, and businesses in Western markets. The fact is that cybercriminals can choose their targets, and usually, they choose those who can pay a larger ransom.
The best and most important step to take to protect against these types of malware is to:
- always back up your data,
- be on the lookout,
- be especially careful online, and
- try not to go online on public Wi-Fi networks.
If you need to use a public network, make sure you are using a VPN from a reliable VPN provider.