Understanding malware & other threats

Malware is a term used to describe malicious applications and code that can cause damage and disrupt normal use of devices. Malware can allow unauthorized access, use system resources, steal passwords, lock you out of your computer and ask for ransom, and more.

Cybercriminals that distribute malware are often motivated by money and will use infected computers to launch attacks, obtain banking credentials, collect information that can be sold, sell access to computing resources, or extort payment from victims.

As criminals become more sophisticated with their attacks, Microsoft is here to help. Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows yet and includes many features to help protect you whether you're at home, at work, or on the go. With Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP), businesses can stay protected with next-generation protection and other security capabilities.

For good general tips, check out the prevent malware infection topic.

There are many types of malware, including:

Keep up with the latest malware news and research. Check out our Windows security blogs and follow us on Twitter for the latest news, discoveries, and protections.

Learn more about Windows security.