Say hello to the most common type of malware: the trojan horse. Actually, you two have already met. In fact, you have probably encountered more trojans than you know.
The trick is trojans can look just like about anything: a computer game you downloaded a month ago, a Twitter link you clicked that led you to a strange website, an email attachment you downloaded that was sent from an old friend’s email address.
Unlike viruses, trojans can’t spread on their own. Instead, they survive by staying unnoticed and hide behind legitimate-looking files and programs. Trojans rely on you to run them by mistake or through negligence.
As malware delivery methods become more and more complicated, you need a tool to intercept trojans before they can cause harm to your computer. This tool is a strong, up-to-date antivirus.
What Does the Name Trojan Horse Mean?
This type of malware is named after the old tale from the Trojan War. They disguise themselves as something else to get access to your computer or device. Trojans might use the same file name as a real or legitimate app so you will be tricked into inviting them in.
What Trojans Do
There are many varieties of trojans, and they can do many different things. Once inside, it can lay low, collecting information and setting up holes or backdoors into your system undetected, or it may just take over your computer.
Here are some common uses of trojans, although many more exist:
Stealing and Modifying Data
Trojans are capable of deleting, modifying, and altering data. This is especially worrisome if you store sensitive personal or business information on your device. Imagine having your client list stolen and sold to your competitor or losing all your family photos without the possibility of recovery.
A trojan is often designed to wait patiently until you access your banking app or enter your credit card details. It can also be used to collect data, such as recording the keystrokes and browsing history of the sites you visit, as well as login details and passwords for websites and banking apps. Then it sends that information to the hacker.
Interrupting the Regular Performance of the System
Sometimes a hacker isn’t interested in your data but wants to use your computer to stage a massive attack on another system or to mine cryptocurrency. With the rise in cryptocurrencies, cryptojacking has become an extremely profitable activity for hackers and is rapidly growing.
Installing More Malware and Creating Backdoors
Once inside, trojans will often make changes to your security system, leaving a backdoor for a hacker to use later. It will often download and install other malware to your device, making it vulnerable to viruses and worms.
The Weakest Link
Trojans take advantage of the weakest link in your computer’s defenses: you.
These forms of malware are carefully crafted to trick the user into downloading a harmful file. By carefully disguising the malware as something you might want to download, hackers try to trick you into downloading it.
Trojans are everywhere, in emails, on social media, and on the web. By clicking on a clickbait ad or checking out an attractive offer online, your device can be infected with a trojan without even noticing.
While not all hackers may be able to hack into the Pentagon, they understand human behavior very well. No matter how careful you are, it is virtually impossible to avoid malicious links and files due to the sheer volume of them.
Antivirus programs cannot be so easily tricked though. They are designed to detect and protect against attack tools such as viruses, spyware, trojans, adware and other types of malware.
Why You Need an Antivirus to Fight Trojans
Because trojans are so useful to hackers and can go unnoticed for long periods of time, their popularity has exploded. Now, Trojans are the most popular type of malware out there.
That is why you need a safety net. Many antivirus tools are designed to detect, block, and remove trojan infections. Antivirus will prevent you from venturing into malware-infested websites, will scan innocent-looking files and attachments you download to ensure they do not contain trojans and viruses and constantly keep watch over your online activities in the background to make sure that nothing suspicious is going on. As it is virtually impossible to avoid Trojans and other types of malware on the Internet, an antivirus is a necessary tool for filtering any files that get installed on your device. By installing a solid antivirus tool on your devices, you can ensure that Trojans are not hiding low in your system, quietly stealing data or your computer’s resources.
Many hackers who want access to your computer need your help to get in. They are just as likely to try to attack your computer directly as trick you into letting them in, but when you accidentally open the door, an up-to-date antivirus can protect you.