Malware, short for malicious software, is software specifically designed to harm or exploit digital devices, networks, or services. It encompasses a broad range of harmful software types, including viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, spyware, and adware. Once executed or activated, malware can steal, delete, or encrypt user data; monitor user activities; or facilitate unauthorized access to systems. It often spreads via malicious email attachments, compromised software downloads, or malicious website links. Advanced malware can evade detection by disguising itself or exploiting software vulnerabilities. Anti-malware tools, like antivirus software, are designed to detect, quarantine, and remove these threats. Regular software updates, cautious online behavior, and user education are crucial in mitigating malware risks. The ever-evolving nature of malware means that cybersecurity practices must continually adapt to counter new threats.