Spyware, Adware and Malware
• Is your computer running more slowly than you would expect it to?
• Does your computer keep crashing?
• Do you experience popup windows and adverts when you are accessing the internet?
• Is your hard drive being accessed even when you are not using your computer?
If the answer to any of the questions above is "yes" then your computer could be affected with spyware, adware or malware. Although considered by many to be a similar thing, spyware, adware and malware can be defined as below:
What is spyware?
Spyware is the generic term used to describe any software that covertly (and usually without the users permission or knowledge) gathers user information through the user's Internet connection. This information can include information such as the web sites the user visits.
Spyware software and applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that are downloaded from the Internet. Some peer-to-peer file sharing applications are thought of as being one of the main ways that a computer is infected with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else.
What is adware?
Adware is the term used to describe a program that is installed at the same time as a shareware or similar program that can continue to generate advertising popups even when the user is not running the originally installed program. So in general, advertising that is integrated into software is known as adware.
What is malware?
Whilst spyware and adware is in general pretty harmless, Malware (derived from the term MALicious softWARE) is hardware, software, or firmware that is intentionally included or inserted in a system for a harmful purpose. This can include a logic bomb, a Trojan horse, a virus or a worm.
Malware is usually designed to destroy, wreak havoc to and/or disrupt and damage computer systems.
Why should I be worried about Adware, spyware and malware?
Your computer probably contains sensitive information about you and the other people that use it such as bank account information. You want to keep this information secure so you do not want spyware and on your computer that could potentially send this information to a third party using your internet connection without you even knowing.
At the other end of the scale, you will soon get fed up with the advertising pop-ups that can appear if your computer is infected with adware.
How can I remove adware, malware and spyware?
If you suspect that your computer is infected with adware, malware or spyware then give us at Cirencester Computers a call.
We will visit your place of work or home and run various tests to detect the type and extent of the infection. We will then remove the offending software. Finally we will show you how you can monitor your computer for the presence of malware, adware and spyware so that if your computer is infected again in the future you can remove it yourself.
Call Cirencester Computers on 01285 256180 for further information, or to make an appointment