What Is Malware?

Previously, any software was divided into two broad categories – malicious and not. Then two more categories were added to this list – malware and potentially unwanted software.

What Is Malware and How to Get Rid of It?

Undesirable programs are usually considered programs that perform relatively safe actions on the computer, but without the user’s knowledge. Each antivirus in its own way sees undesirable behaviors in the actions of a program. One antivirus program will instantly block such an application, another will display a message about a possible threat, and the third will not pay any attention to it. That is why it is important to know what is filerepmalware.

It is important to distinguish malware from unwanted software. While the former causes direct damage to the computer and confidential data, the latter usually causes various inconveniences that cannot be considered critical.

Here is a small list of typical actions that cause alarms in antivirus or Windows built-in security:

  • Continuing work in the background after closing the main window. Some programs, without notifying the user, install services that automatically start at startup and run on the computer when it is closed. As a rule, such applications then display all kinds of notifications on the screen with an offer to download other programs.
  • Changing the settings of other installed programs without the user’s knowledge. Most often, the home page in the browser is changed in order to promote the site, advertise goods and services.
  • Displaying deliberately false information on the screen, for example, about the “poor technical state of the system or computer” in order to prompt the user to download a (usually paid) program for PC optimization or purchase more powerful components for it.
  • Spontaneous opening of sites in the browser, installing plugins, and other actions.

Malware Programs on Your PC

While some “common” unwanted programs can be equated with viruses, the actions of potentially unwanted software usually pose no threat to the computer at all, but in the wrong hands, they can still (potentially) pose a threat.

Antiviruses usually do not react in any way to the installation and use of such applications, because many of them even have an official license to run on Windows operating systems. Although the antivirus may warn you that the downloaded/installed/launched “program is unwanted, it should be used with caution, and it is better to remove it altogether.”

Potentially unwanted software includes, for example:


  1. Torrent clients and similar download managers that use peer-to-peer networks (PNP) for data exchange. It is clear that pirated software products or completely prohibited digital materials are often distributed through torrents. If the torrent file was downloaded from some obscure site, you never know what might be inside.
  2. Installers of programs and drivers. Again, software/driver managers downloaded from dubious sites can not only perform their direct function but also download and install “left-hand” applications on the computer, incl. and viruses. We are not talking about the installers of drivers and programs verified by millions of users. But they are also on the lists of potentially unwanted software among the developers of antiviruses and the Windows operating system.
  3. Mining programs (miners) for “mining” cryptocurrencies. The following picture can be observed here. The user downloaded and installed the miner hoping to make money. The program literally devours all the power of the computer, but it gives absolutely no result and after a long time of “excavation”. It’s simple – the unique cryptocurrency hash codes she found are sent to the developer of the program.