What is a Computer Worm and How to Remove It

You might have heard of the term, ‘computer worm’, but how much do you really know about what it means? Would you be able to differentiate between a worm and a virus? Or are you unsure of what a computer worm does and how it infects your computer? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

In this blog, we will be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • What is a worm on a computer?
  • How do you remove worms from your computer?
  • How can you prevent computer worms?
  • How can iolo help remove and prevent computer worms?

So, without further delay, let’s jump right into the realm of computer worms, with our first question: What are worms on a computer?

What is a Computer Worm?

The meaning of computer worm is simpler than it seems. 

A computer worm is a type of malware (malicious software) that is a subset of the Trojan. As a type of Trojan, computer worms rely on social engineering (tricking users into downloading it). Once in place, computer worms can self-replicate from one system to another, without the need of human activation – this is done via your internet or Local Area Network (LAN) connection.

It has the capability to:

  • Perform distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • Drop other malware types including spyware or ransomware
  • Steal data
  • Take up hard drive space
  • Delete data/files
  • Overload networks
  • Consume bandwidth 
  • And more…

How Do Computer Worms Spread?

A computer worm could breach your computer in any of the following ways:

  • Phishing – fraudulent emails with malicious links or email attachments
  • Networks – shared access networks allow worms to self-replicate onto other computers
  • External devices (USBs, external hard drives) – external hard drives that plug or connect to your computer can be infected with worms
  • Security vulnerabilities – worms can exploit holes in your computer’s security
  • File sharing – worms can travel via P2P file networks
  • Instant messaging (IM) – platforms like Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can host and help spread worms

Types of Worms

Since its development, there have been many worms that have caused damage and harm to individuals and companies. This includes:

  • Morris (1988) – an estimated $100,000 – $10 million in damage was caused due to this worm that overloaded over 6,000 UNIX machines 
  • ILOVEYOU (2000) – email worm that posed as love letter attachments, infecting more than 50 million computers and leading to $15 billion in expenses just to remove it
  • SQL Slammer (2003) – responsible for crashing routers across the world, causing DDoS on internet hosts and slowing down overall internet traffic 
  • Mydoom (2004) – one of the fastest-spreading email worms in history, causing $38 billion in damage when it was released; it still exists today and accounts for around 1% of malicious emails!
  • Storm Worm (2007) – tricked users into opening the email with its clickbait headlines, gathering private user data and executing DDoS attacks

Worms vs Virus

It can be easy to confuse ‘worms’ and ‘virus’ and believe that they are the same threat. But, it’s important to note that these two terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably as they mean separate things. 

While the definition of computer worms involves the ability to propagate itself onto other systems, viruses cannot do the same. In particular, viruses require human interaction in order to begin its malicious actions. 

How to Remove Computer Worms

Now that you know the answer to, “What is a worm on a computer?”, you are prepared for diving into our next question: How do you remove computer worms?

Let’s begin with being aware of the signs and symptoms that worms have breached your computer:

  • Freezing screen
  • Missing or deleted files
  • Battery is constantly drained
  • Error messages
  • Depleted hard drive space
  • Slow computer performance
  • New and mysterious programs or files 
  • Emails sent to contacts

If you notice any of the above, you might have a computer worm on your hands.

iolo’s System Shield®

Removing computer worms is made simple and easy by installing antivirus/anti-malware software like iolo’s System Shield®. With this software, you can take advantage of:

  • Real-time protection against malware, including worms
  • Permanent removal of identified malware
  • Detection of newest malware threats, including variants

For immediate and effective elimination of computer worms, System Shield® is what you need.

How to Prevent Computer Worms

Removing computer worms is necessary if worms have breached your system, but it’s crucial that you understand how to prevent them from infiltrating your computer in the first place. 

Here are our top tips for preventing the spread of computer worms:

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links
  • Never open an unfamiliar email attachment 
  • Only go on websites with credible domain names
  • Delete (don’t open) text messages and/or emails from unknown/suspicious senders 
  • Steer clear of P2P file sharing networks
  • Keep essential software up-to-date
  • Install an anti-malware solution like iolo’s System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense™

iolo’s System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense™

System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense™ is the ideal solution for comprehensive protection of your computer against malware like computer worms. It is an all-in-one product that offers:

  • Performance boost and optimization
  • Tailored privacy settings
  • Antivirus protection (including System Shield®)
  • Password management 
  • File recovery
  • Permanent file deletion 

With installation for up to 10 computers (for Windows® 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7), you can keep your entire family protected from cyber threats such as computer worms. 

Reap the benefits of System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense™ by purchasing a subscription today.

Protect Your Computer from Worms with iolo

iolo’s collection of solutions, including System Shield® and System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense™ can help you effectively protect your computer and remove any identified computer worms with ease. 

Using cutting-edge technology, our products are designed with your safety and security in mind. Rest assured that your personal information and data is kept protected against cyber threats, including computer worms.

Plus, all of our products come with a 30 day money-back guarantee, ensuring that you receive a full refund if you are unsatisfied with our service. So, what are you waiting for?

Browse our full collection of anti-malware solutions on our website today, or get in touch with us for more information on our offerings. 

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What is iolo's Whole Home License?

The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see https://www.iolo.com/company/legal/eula/

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.