Malware, short for malicious software, refers to any software program that is developed with a malicious intent. It is specifically designed to disrupt or damage computer systems, network devices, servers, or other digital devices. Malware can take various forms, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and more.
Once malware infiltrates a computer or network, it can perform a range of harmful activities. These activities include stealing sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers, corrupting or deleting files, slowing down system performance, displaying unwanted advertisements, and even controlling the infected system remotely.
Malware can enter computer systems through various means, such as downloading infected files or software from untrustworthy sources, clicking on malicious links or attachments in emails, visiting infected websites, or exploiting software vulnerabilities.
Protecting devices from malware is essential to maintain cybersecurity. Users should follow best practices such as regularly updating software and operating systems, using strong and unique passwords, being cautious while downloading or clicking on suspicious links, and using reputable antivirus software and firewalls. Additionally, it is crucial to keep backups of important data to mitigate any potential damage caused by malware.
For more detailed information on malware and tips to protect your computer from it, you can refer to this [external link](https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-001).
(Note: The external link provided here offers additional information on malware and computer security.)