Malware vs. Spyware

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Malware and Spyware is that the Malware is a software that is intentionally hostile, intrusive, or damaging to a computer or network and Spyware is a malware that collects and transmits user information without their knowledge

  • Malware

    Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network (by contrast, software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency is typically described as a software bug). A wide variety of malware types exist, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, wiper and scareware.

    Programs are also considered malware if they secretly act against the interests of the computer user. For example, at one point Sony music Compact discs silently installed a rootkit on purchasers’ computers with the intention of preventing illicit copying, but which also reported on users’ listening habits, and unintentionally created extra security vulnerabilities.A range of antivirus software, firewalls and other strategies are used to help protect against the introduction of malware, to help detect it if it is already present, and to recover from malware-associated malicious activity and attacks.

  • Spyware

    Spyware describes software with malicious behavior that aims to gather information about a person or organization and send such information to another entity in a way that harms the user; for example by violating their privacy or endangering their device’s security. This behavior may be present in malware as well as in legitimate software. Websites may also engage in spyware behaviors like web tracking. Hardware devices may also be affected. Spyware is frequently associated with advertising and involves many of the same issues. Because these behaviors are so common, and can have non-harmful uses, providing a precise definition of spyware is a difficult task.

  • Malware (noun)

    Software which has been designed to operate in a malicious, undesirable manner.


  • Spyware (noun)

    Programs that surreptitiously monitor and report the actions of a computer user. from 1990s


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