Spyware and Viruses

Spyware and Virus removal is one of the biggest problems encountered by Internet users. Viruses have taken a backseat to this new wave of malicious software designed to dupe users and get into your pocketbook.  We’d like to break down the situation.

Spyware, Viruses…What’s The Difference?

All malicious programs, including spyware and viruses fall under the software category called Malware. This term comes from the Latin word mal, meaning “bad” or “evil”, and ware which is short for software. Malware is broken into two main categories: spyware and viruses.

Viruses have been around since the beginning of the computer era. Their design and intention is meant for one thing: destruction and control. Viruses destroy data and information. Taking advantage of security flaws, they break into networks and computers and steal records and information. These programs were the reason anti-virus software was built. Viruses could cause severe damage to company servers and wreak havoc on an individual’s life as their computer information was lost. Something had to be done and companies such as McAfee and Norton became household names.

Spyware is a relatively new idea. Its design is financial; its goal is to get your money. The idea behind most spyware is this: trick the user into buying a product or service. For example; fake anti-virus programs load when your computer starts, reporting many infections on your system. You are then prompted to purchase the full-version programs to begin the “cleanup” process. Because this type of problem actually puts money into these scammer’s pockets, spyware has seen explosive growth. Anti-virus makers have begun to incorporate anti-spyware modules into their traditional antivirus products as a result. Furthermore, a whole new crop of companies have sprung up to combat spyware.

In our next post, we’ll examine some of the ways to protect yourself against Internet-based threats, and finally what to do when your computer is infected.

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