What is a Trojan downloader?

A man writing down ways to protect his computer from a Trojan downloader.

A Trojan downloader is a type of Trojan horse that downloads and installs files, often malicious programs.

A Trojan downloader is a type of Trojan horse that downloads and installs files, often malicious programs. A Trojan horse is a type of software that looks legitimate but can be malicious in nature. Sometimes these programs can be downloaded onto a device without the user’s knowledge or consent. A Trojan’s purpose is to damage, disrupt, steal, or generally inflict some other harm on your computer and devices.

How does a Trojan downloader work? 

In order for a Trojan horse to spread, it must first be downloaded onto your computer. This can happen when you open an email attachment containing an infected file, or through an exploit kit. This creates what is called a back door, where the trojan downloader can download and install new versions of malicious programs, including more Trojans and adware, for example. The back door can also provide access to a system, and any confidential or personal information may be compromised.

How to help protect your devices against a Trojan downloader

  • Install and run an internet security suite. Run periodic diagnostic scans with your software.
  • Update your operating system and software programs as soon as updates and patches are made available from the manufacturer. Cybercriminals tend to exploit security holes and flaws in outdated software programs and operating systems.
  • Back up your files regularly. If a Trojan downloader infects your computer, this will help you to restore your data.
  • Don’t visit unsafe websites. To determine if you are on a secure website, look for a padlock in your URL bar near the web address, and make sure the website begins with HTTPS. If you are running a quality internet security software, it should alert you that you’re about to visit an unsafe site.
  • Don’t open a link or click on an attachment in an email unless you’re confident it comes from a legitimate source. In general, avoid opening unsolicited emails from senders you don’t know. To help stay safe, run a security scan on any email attachments before opening them.
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Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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