The computer world seems to be divided into two distinct camps. One that fights malware. And one that does not worry about malware. No, this is not a Windows vs. Mac or Android vs. iPhone issue, though ecosystems play a part.
Does anybody care about malware anymore? My own personal survey of family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers tells me that most people who use smartphones, tablets, or personal computers do not worry much about malware. Except for those who have been infected and affected.
Where do you find the most malware?
First, allow me to start with a definition of malware.
Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. Malware does the damage after it is implanted or introduced in some way into a target’s computer and can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software.
How does malware differ from the notorious PC virus?
The code is described as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and scareware, among other terms. Malware has a malicious intent, acting against the interest of the computer user—and so does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency, which is typically described as a software bug.
Malware is software that intentionally causes harm to a computer or user. Some say Facebook and Google are harbingers of malware.
Google has revealed that malware installed from Google Play grew by 100 percent last year
Whoa. What happened?
Google changed the definition of malware.
The company says the main reason for the growth is that for the first time its definition of “potentially harmful apps” (PHAs) now includes click-fraud apps.
Is malware getting worse? Or, has the situation improved?
Google treated click-fraud apps as a mere Play Store policy violation. The company contends that if it removed click-fraud stats, it would show PHAs installed from the official store declined by 31 percent year over year.
For those whose devices become infected, it is getting worse. For those unaffected, obviously the situation is better than in years past.
Nobody cares about malware until a device becomes infected, but the very definition of malware has expanded to include items most people experience, but do not know they experience.
Computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and scareware.
Ad fake news to the list because it, too, causes harm to the user.