There has been a lot of talk about antiviruses and antimalware and it is time to settle this once and for all and understand what is the difference between this two, and, ultimately, what is the difference between malware and viruses. Learning these things might help you make the right choices when you will try to protect your device.
What are viruses and malware?
There is this common misconception that malware and viruses are two different things, but that is not quite true. In fact, a virus is malware. The term malware is used for any malicious code, and that includes viruses. Basically any code that is designed to be harmful or damage your files and computer is malware. This includes viruses, but also ransomware, Trojans, worms, and spyware.
For those who do not know, ransomware is one of the most used techniques nowadays. Attackers take over a computer and they encrypt the most important files. Then, they asked for sums of money in order to decrypt it for them. Usually they ask for cryptocurrency, and the sums can be quite big.
When it comes to viruses, they are one type of malware, the infectious kind to be more precise. Just like real ones, digital viruses tend to replicate themselves and later they spread everywhere, on as many files as they can. They quickly manage to take over your computer and they clog it until it becomes unstable and needs wiping.
However, ironically enough, antivirus and antimalware mean the same thing nowadays. Since viruses were the first ones to appear, software that protects security received the name antivirus. The name remained, despite the fact that today these tools fight against any other type of malware, from minor ones to big ones that can harm your device.