Viruses aren’t the only thing antivirus software protects against. There are also worms that attack your device and try to spread across networks, and Trojans that look like safe software but aren’t – because they will hide on your device and try to steal your account and financial information.
You often find viruses, worms and Trojans hidden inside seemingly legitimate software, or if you’re downloading pirated content, you’re also putting yourself at risk of accidentally executing malware on your device.
Ransomware also poses a serious threat to today’s consumers and businesses. Modern antivirus software is often able to stop it in its tracks before it encrypts your device and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Spyware, which comes in forms including executable programs and mobile applications, can severely impact your privacy. Spyware will monitor your activities, collect your data, and in cases of stalkerware, may also record your phone calls, text messages, social media activity, and GPS location.
Antivirus apps and software also protect against adware that can take advantage of your web history and bombard you with annoying and potentially dangerous ads or notifications. Also known as bloatware, although they are not usually dangerous, they can slow down your device, drain power, and make it impossible to browse the Internet normally.
You should keep in mind that many types of malware today are not limited to attacks against personal computers – malware can also be found in seemingly benign mobile applications.