Adware, Spyware, Malware and Viruses

Any computer owner has heard of all the many potential dangers that can crash your system. The words “malware,” “adware,” “spyware,” and “viruses” are used to describe the potential dangers that come from connecting your computer to the Internet. By understanding the differences between these malicious programs, you can better identify potential problems with your computer. Here’s a quick guide to help you know the distinctions between these individual threats.

Malware is defined as a software program that is intentionally designed to cause harm. Malware can infect a computer either through accidental installation by the user or by sneaking through other programs. Malware only describes programs that are deliberately designed to damage a computer’s hardware.

Adware is a type of malware that contains advertising that automatically displays without the user’s consent. Adware is usually connected to and downloaded with other programs. Adware often works together with Spyware, allowing it to target its adverting to your specific interests.

Spyware is another type of malware that is designed to spy on the computer user. Spyware is often used by hackers to collect keystrokes and other information, which allows them to steal passwords and other personal information. Spyware can also be used to record a user’s actions and browsing habits to help adware.

A virus is a program that is created with the intention to cause havoc with your computer. A virus infects your computer and can cause errors, crashes, and even destroy your hardware. Viruses tend to keep a low profile at first, allowing them to spread more completely through your computer before causing its full harm. A virus is unique due to the fact that it can grow and replicate itself. Viruses are dangerous as they can travel through an Internet connection, enabling them to travel from one computer to another. Viruses can also be transported through infected files and webpages.