Computer Worm vs Virus: The Differences Explained

Computer Worm vs Virus

You often get confuse between computer worm vs virus. The main difference between a virus and a worm is that the germs must be activated by the activity of their host; whereas worms are the only malicious programs that can replicate and spread independently as soon as they break the system. Worms do not need activation — or any human intervention — to generate or distribute their codes.

Viruses are often attached or hidden in shared or downloaded files, both usable files — text-based applications — and unusable files like a Word document or an image file. When a host file is received or uploaded to a targeted system, the virus remains inactive until the infected host file is activated. Only after the host file is activated, the virus can run, generate malicious code and repeat itself to infect other files in your system.

In contrast, worms do not require their center file to work. Once the worm has invaded your system, usually via a network connection or as a downloaded file, we can then run, duplicate and spread it out without a trigger event. The worm makes many copies of it and distributes it over the web or over the Internet. These copies will infect any compromised computers and servers that are connected — via a network or the Internet — initially infected. Because each subsequent copy of the worm replicates the process of reproduction, killing and spreading, worm-based infections spread rapidly throughout computer repair networks and the Internet as a whole.

How Do Computer Viruses and Worms Spread?

Viruses and worms are a subset of malicious programs, malware. Any program on this computer that is not compatible with your computer may also have additional Trojan functions.

Viruses can be classified according to the method they use to infect a computer

  • File viruses
  • Bacteria of the boot sector
  • Large germs
  • Text bugs
  • Worms

Worms often exploit network configuration errors or operating system vulnerabilities (OS) or applications. Many worms use a variety of methods to spread to all networks, including the following:

Email: Imported files have been sent as email attachments

Internet: Through links to infected websites; it is usually hidden in the HTML of the website, so the infection is caused when the page loads

Downloads and FTP servers: May initially start with downloaded files or individual FTP files, but if not found, it can spread to the server thus all outgoing FTP transfers.

Instant Messaging (IM): Sent via mobile and desktop messaging apps, usually as external links, including native SMS apps, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, or any other type of ICQ or IRC message.

P2P / File Sharing: Distribute through P2P file sharing networks, any other shared drive or files, such as a USB stick or network server.

Networks: Often hidden in network packets; although they can be streamed and broadcast themselves with shared access to any device, drive or file across the network

How To Protect All Your Devices From Viruses And Worms

Viruses, worms, and malware often exploit the security and bugs of the virus. For this reason, it is important to keep up to date with all OS and app updates and patches. Unfortunately, keeping track of updates and wake-up calls is enough. There are many helpful resources and vectors that can detect viruses and worms on a network or computer or mobile device.


Nowadays, complete Internet security is a responsibility for all your devices — desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. For optimal performance, online security solutions should give you real-time protection for all your activities, from emails to online browsing, not just occasional hard drive scanning. In addition, the best security software products are not one-time stand-alone installs and periodic updates. A quality online security product is offered as a service, known as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This means that in addition to monitoring your devices in real time, the software itself is updated in real time with the most up-to-date information about existing and emerging threats, how to prevent them and how to repair their damage.