We are surely familiar with ‘viruses’ attacking our laptops, damaging a lot of data, and corrupting numerous files. But have you ever come across the term ‘worm’ attacking your computer?
Yes, you hear it right. Other than viruses, your computer also had a potential threat from worms. Like a virus needs a host to trigger duplication in your laptop or a computer, a worm is a stand-alone program that self replicates and propagates without any trigger from humans.
So, be very careful with the way you use your computers, and prevent your data from worms, for they are more lethal than viruses. Giving your laptop or computers a proper security system is one of the 7 things one should do with a new laptop.
Before we get into how a worm attacks your computer, let us understand what exactly a computer worm is?
A worm is a type of malware that self copies itself from one device to another. Unlike a virus, it does not need any software or a file to latch itself and then get transferred to another system through that software or file. Since it is self-copying, it is more dangerous than a virus. We are so dependent on the devices around us in our routine lives, that even the slightest damage to them can cost us a lot. This is the impact of technology over human lives.
A worm mostly enters your machine through the Operating systems. Threat actors program the worm in such a manner that they can stay hidden inside the operating system of your computer, causing potential damage and not being noticed.
Other means through which a worm can enter your computer are spam emails, instant messaging applications, and infected attachments. These social engineering attachments just have to program in a manner that users are made to believe that it is safe to open those files or click on those links.be
Other than these, even USB devices and drives can be an entry point for these worms.
Computer worms spread in your machine by adopting a sneaky method. They just need a vulnerable device to sneak in. They replicate and wriggle their way into the network and damage the files.
The basic step to know whether your machine is infected by a worm or not is to run a virus scan immediately. Though this is not a virus, some antiviruses detect the malware and remove them from your computer.
If you notice any strange emails popping up in your inbox, your system is falling prey to computer worms. Act immediately. Some of these attachments may also act as dialogue boxes which can make your computer act differently. In this case, as well, you are inviting a worm into your machine.
Since the worms have a habit of self-replicating themselves, they eat up all the free space in your computer. So, keep an eye on the files you store and the space your system has used to know whether your machine is worm infected.
When you observe a rapid crash in your programs, if your computer is running slow, the worm has made its place in your computer. It eats all the space and reduces the spread of your device.
There are various types of computer worms that attack your computer through various mediums. The first computer worm, ‘Jerusalem’ was discovered in 1987.
Though it is difficult to classify computer worms, they can be organized on the basis of which medium they attack your system.
An internet worm scans all the sites with less security. Then they infect the site and duplicate it into any computer that visits this site.
An infected mail that includes attachments or links to infected sites can be a gateway for computer worms through emails. Once you click on the attachments, copies of these start duplicating on your computer.
Like email worms, if any infected attachment or link is clicked in an instant chat through any application, your device is prone to instant messaging worms.
Though it is difficult to identify computer worms, once detected, you can remove them from your computer in the following ways.
You can uninstall the current versions of the Operating System and applications on your laptop and computers. You can either reinstall the same OS version or upgrade it.
While using your message applications or emails, be careful while you click on the links or download any attachments. Get an antivirus program installed on your computer or device, so there are chances of threat files being detected.
Computer worms are different from viruses. Therefore it is difficult to detect them. However, they can cause great damage to your devices. They can even have your computer crash. So, to prevent this worm attack, be careful with the websites you visit, attachments you download, and links you click on.
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An artist by heart and a writer by profession, Prachi is a vivacious reader. She believes in hard work and her dedication has never let her down. She puts her heart and soul in everthing she does. Though life has not been a bed of roses for her, she affirms that the best way to live it is to maintain an equillibrium between the tunes of life.