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Viruses are computer programs or scripts that
attempt to spread from one file to another on a single computer and/or from one
computer to another, using a variety of methods, without the knowledge and
consent of the computer user. A worm is a specific type of virus that propagates
itself across many computers, usually by creating copies of itself in each
computerís memory. Many users define viruses simply as trick programs designed
to delete or move hard drive data, which, strictly speaking, is not correct.
From a technical viewpoint, what makes a virus a virus is that it spreads
itself. The damage it does is often incidental when making a diagnosis.
Obviously, any incidental damage is important, even when authors do not intend
to create problems with their viruses; they can still cause harm unintentionally
because the author did not anticipate the full effect or unintentional side
effects. The most common method used for spreading a virus is through e-mail
attachment. Sending a virus, even if designed to be harmless, can cause
I have heard some arguments that Trojan Horse malware is a virus subset (and
vice versa) but there are differences worth mentioning. A Trojan Horse meets the
definition of virus that most people use, in the sense that it attempts to
infiltrate a computer without the userís knowledge or consent. A Trojan Horse,
similar to its Greek mythological counterpart, often presents itself as one form
while it is actually another. A recent example of malware acting as a Trojan
horse is the recent e-mail version of the "Swen" virus, which falsely
claimed to be a Microsoft update application. Trojans typically do one of two
things: they either destroy or modify data the moment they launch, such as erase
a hard drive, or they attempt to ferret out and steal passwords, credit card
numbers, and other such confidential information. Trojan Horses can be a bigger
problem than other types of viruses as they are design to be destructive or
disruptive, as opposed to viruses and worms where the coder may not intend to do
any harm at all. Essentially this distinction does not matter in the real world.
You can lump viruses, Trojans, and worms together as "things I don't want
on my computer or my network".
The methods for dealing with Trojans are generally the same as for those for
dealing with viruses. Most virus scanners attempt to deal with some of the
common Trojans with varying degrees of success. There are also specific
"anti-Trojan" scanners available, and your best weapon is common sense
yet again. Score another point for safe computing! Try
our trojan detection software
Unfortunately, yes. Some may deceive users or omit their policies. For example,
they may track your Web surfing habits across many different websites without
informing you, and then use this data to customize the advertisements you see on
websites, etc., typically considered as an invasion of privacy. It is difficult
to identify this and other forms of "cookie abuse," which makes it
difficult to decide if, when, and how to block them from ones system. In
addition, the acceptable level of shared information varies between users, so it
is difficult to create an "anti-cookie" program to meet the needs of
The spyware problem is similar to the cookie problem from the point of view that
both are an invasion of privacy, although spyware is different from cookies,
technically speaking. Spyware is a program that runs on your computer and,
again, tracks your habits and tailors these patterns for advertisements, etc.
Because it is a computer program rather than just a bit of text in a cookie,
spyware can also do some nasty things to ensure that the spyware keeps running
and keeps influencing what you see.
You can use our detection program PestBlock.
Similar to antivirus software, this program compare a list of known spyware with
files on your computer and can remove any that it detects.
Common tactics for surreptitious installation include rolling up advertising
programs into "free" shareware program downloads, and once the spyware
is installed it can download advertisements 24 hours a day and overlay them on
websites and programs you are using.
Some forms of spyware monitor a targetís Web use or even general computer use
and sends this information back to the spyware program's authors for use as they
see fit. To fight this kind of problem, a spyware removal tool is obviously
helpful, as is a firewall that monitors outgoing connections from your computer.
Other forms of spyware take over parts of your Web browsing interface, forcing
you to use their own search engines, where they can track your browsing habits
and send pop-up advertisements to you at will. The biggest concern regarding
spyware is that most of them are poorly written or designed. Many people first
realize their computer is running spyware when it noticeably slows down or stops
responding, especially when doing certain tasks such as browsing websites or
retrieving e-mail. In addition, poorly written spyware can often cause your
computer to function incorrectly even after it has been removed.
Some information for this page has been
taken from web site Microsoft
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