In this mini-review, after a brief introduction into the widespread antimicrobial use of silver ions and nanoparticles against bacteria, fungi and viruses, the toxicity of silver compounds and the molecular mechanisms of microbial silver resistance are discussed, including recent studies on bacteria and fungi. The similarities and differences between silver ions and silver nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents are also mentioned. Regarding bacterial ionic silver resistance, the roles of the sil operon, silver cation efflux proteins, and copper-silver efflux systems are explained. The importance of bacterially produced exopolysaccharides as a physiological (biofilm) defense mechanism against silver nanoparticles is also emphasized. Regarding fungal silver resistance, the roles of metallothioneins, copper-transporting P-type ATPases and cell wall are discussed. Recent evolutionary engineering (adaptive laboratory evolution) studies are also discussed which revealed that silver resistance can evolve rapidly in bacteria and fungi. The cross-resistance observed between silver resistance and resistance to other heavy metals and antibiotics in bacteria and fungi is also explained as a clinically and environmentally important issue. The use of silver against bacterial and fungal biofilm formation is also discussed. Finally, the antiviral effects of silver and the use of silver nanoparticles against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses are mentioned. To conclude, silver compounds are becoming increasingly important as antimicrobial agents, and their widespread use necessitates detailed understanding of microbial silver response and resistance mechanisms, as well as the ecological effects of silver compounds.