How to Differentiate Viruses, Worms, Trojans, And Malware

April 17, 2018 | Blog

The more you know about the dangers that threaten your digital devices, the better you can protect yourself from them. Unfortunately, scammers have created many different ways to hijack information from their victims on digital platforms. Everyday there are reports of a new scam involving vicious software that is easy to fall prey to. Here, you will learn the difference between viruses, worms, trojans, and other malware!

What is Malware?

Malware is short for malicious software. It is used as an umbrella term when describing spyware, worms, viruses, and any other thing created to harm your computer and digital devices.


It is often that the words malware and computer virus are used interchangeably. Technically speaking, they are not the same. Malware is too general of a term to describe exactly what makes a virus a virus.

Viruses can be described as a program that copies itself over and over again to infect a PC. It easily spreads by attaching to files. When these files are open, it allows the virus to spread even further. If these files are shared among other digital devices, those devices will then contract the virus. Just like a bad cold, anything that comes into contact with it, we get it.

So why do scammers want to give your PC a virus? Well, when your computer becomes corrupt with harmful files, it makes your system inoperable. Sometimes, these viruses don’t just make your computer impossible to use, they delete important information. To get it fixed, there may be a tech support advertisement with a number to call, or a link to click. These are the scammers, who will then ask for a payment for the problem to be solved. Essentially you are paying the people to remove the virus that they infected your computer with.

Thankfully, there are companies like My Computer Works who are honest. We want to help the individuals that fall victim to these personal attacks.


Spyware is any type of software installed on your computer that collects your information. Just as the name suggests, you are being spied on. This is much more subtle than a virus, and the majority are not even aware it is happening to them. These hackers install spyware on your PC because they hope to make money at your expense, so it will not wreak havoc on your devices.

How do they make money at your expense? This software is meant to watch your every move. It will copy your login information, your search history, important emails, and even your credit card numbers. Every personal task completed on your computer will be sent to the spyware creator.

Majority of the time, a computer infected with spyware, has a dozen more of this type of software installed. Eventually, they will slow your computer way down. Antivirus software should be able to catch scams like this, however not all of them do. It is very important to be educated when it comes to which software you are choosing to protect your private information.

Get your antivirus software from a trusted vendor, like us! My Computer Works offers the best protection that will be monitored and secured by our professional technicians.


Just like it sounds, these types of scams are aimed to hold your information for ransom! This is one of the newer digital attacks. Usually, this starts with the victim thinking they are downloading an antivirus software through a link sent to them by the scammers. Once this link is clicked on, the victim will be told their computer is infected with viruses and most programs will no longer work.

Ransomware is next to impossible to uninstall on your own. Because of this, the hackers will force you to pay them in order to re-gain access to your own data.

Antivirus software could end up saving you a lot of money by catching the scammers that aim to hold your information hostage. Seriously, take the time to install virus protection software.


Just like the story goes, the Trojans used a hallow horse to infiltrate the city of Troy. This is why this vicious software has the name Trojans. On your computer, Trojans will look inconspicuous and act as they are doing something else when they actually carry a code that opens a back door to your computer.

In simpler terms, the reason Trojans are different than viruses is due to the fact that they cannot multiply by themselves, and the user has to unknowingly allow it on their computer (i.e. downloading something, or opening a link).

Once your computer in infected with Trojans, that back door is open and can be used by scammers for many different reasons. A load of spam, denial of services (DoS) attack on a website, and even allows hackers to remotely control your computer without your knowledge.

Fortunately, You can deal with Trojans just like you do moist viruses. Install and antivirus software and be sure to back up your data. My Computer Works knows the risks of having all of your information in one place, so along with our remote data backup, we can also install Mawarebytes and/or ESET32. These are the best of the best when it comes to protecting your computer against malicious software attacks!


Worms can not only impact one computer, but easily spread among many. The word worm is used because they cause a “worm hole” (security breach) that allows this vicious software to travel with ease from host to host.

Because worms can spread so easily and fast, they are the most known type of malware. Not to be confused with a virus, worms don’t need a user to allow them access and can infiltrate automatically. Back in 2000, the ILOVEYOU email was able to reach and then attack millions of PC computers.

Since worms exploit a network vulnerability, you will still need a good antivirus software and a major computer tuneup!

Do you feel like a tech expert now?

You can finally put a name to all the threatening software that can infected your computer. Now you know the differences between viruses, trojans, worms, and other malware!

However, the most important step to take, is calling My Computer Works. We have an all-American based technical support team standing by. Call as at 877-629-6972 and check out our reviews here. We should also mention, our A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.

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