Malware vs Ransomware: The Difference Explained

Cyber crimes are common and evolving in parallel with the advancement in technology. Cybercriminals are efficient in growing their techniques to break into systems, leaving no one safe. These are the people who develop codes to infiltrate weak devices and unprotected software. They seek to access files on your devices for a profit. Only when you are aware of cybercrimes and their forms, you can identify and deal with them before it affects you as an individual or a corporate company. Here’s a quick insight into the top two cybercrimes- Malware and Ransomware that might prevent you from the expensive computer or laptop repair in Cincinnati, if you get that right.

The Difference

Malware is a broad term used for computer programs that are designed to disrupt, hack, or damage a computer or laptop device. However, ransomware is designed with malicious intent. It blocks your access to your device only using advanced encryption. Only when you pay over a ransom fee for the decryption keys, the hacker will allow you access.


The portmanteau of malicious and software; Malware is an umbrella term that covers ransomware. There are many other types of Malware too, including-

Spyware: It is a nasty code that allows hackers to spy on all the device’s activities. It is capable of recording and sending information such as the visited websites, usernames, passwords, and even banking details, without your knowledge.

Bots: Short for ‘robots’, bots can infiltrate devices, connect them to the internet, and send information. It is, in fact, a part of a great network called a botnet. They can record, expose passwords, and steal personal and financial information.

Knowing the Difference Between Ransomware vs. Malware

Worms: Similar to viruses, worms spread through networks automatically and quickly. They don’t need a host file to spread as they are stand-alone programs that self-replicate.

Malware attacks computers by slowing down their basic functions and breach security. They help hackers harvest personal data, take over the device, and record activities. They circulate using file-sharing as they attach themselves to free downloadable software. They even embed themselves in email attachments. They are responsible for identity theft, credit card fraud, difficulty starting and shutting down the device, corrupt programs and software, slow device performance, and theft of data.


Ransomware infects your device using devious methods and is often went unnoticed for a long period. The hacker encrypts files and programs and demands a ransom in exchange for access to your PC. They lay a trap, let the software be placed on the device or network. When they are confident that the rootkit has not been discovered and quarantined, they spring the trap, launching ransomware to hijack the device. Without a decryption key, it doesn’t allow you to access anything on your network or device. The hacker only sells this key when you pay the demanded amount. However, there is no guarantee that they will give you the key after receiving the money.

Ransomware spreads via spam emails and Instant Messaging services. It is all about whether you let the hacker trick you into opening an ‘official-looking email attachment. Ransomware exploits you for money, making you face the choice between paying off the ransom or losing your important files and programs. Note that ransomware is a type of Malware that grabs data, locks it, and codes it.

Cybercriminals rely on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubts (FUD) to achieve their goals. But, they are human only. Thus, turn to a laptop repair service in Cincinnati and let the experts educate you as well as your workforce on Malware and ransomware. It will be a worthy investment for your business in the long run.