Malware is malicious code or software that is used with the intention of collecting
sensitive information, gaining access to a private system, or disrupting computer operations.
Several forms of malware exist including spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, and viruses—all of
which adversely affect a system. The proliferation of malware is extensive, with new malicious
code being released regularly, even more so than legitimate software (“Symantec,” 2008).
Malware is spread in many ways, but the most common methods are through email and by
infecting websites. Each of these methods downloads the malicious data to the user’s computer,
allowing access to sensitive information such as contact and payment information.
There are already some methods of control put into place, such as anti-virus and anti-
malware software. However, it is impossible for these methods to remain effective given the rate
at which new malicious software is being produced. This being said different methods of control
will have to be developed for the future. One method may be to have similar software update on
a regular basis via the internet. Other methods may be more stringent processes for downloading
anything on a system, such as multiple series of questions or passwords in order to install
anything on a computer. This could prevent anything from downloading unbeknownst to the
Another method of stopping or slowing the proliferation of malware is through
education. By teaching computer users more about malware, what it does, and how it can be
obtained, the public can be more conscious. For instance, educating individuals that they should
not open email from those that they do not know may help to prevent the downloading of
malware that is sent via email. Likewise, having basic knowledge of malware may also help
users recognize when a warning appears via their internet browser. By adhering to security
warnings users can protect themselves and again contribute to the decline in the proliferation of
such malicious software.
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