What is Malware and Why Do I Care?
Viruses, spyware, malware. All scary words, all a little bit difficult to understand. Malware is, by definition, malicious code and is responsible for many problems in the digital world. Within malware there are many different categories of code that do any range of things – the only common denominator is that they are all dangerous. In this article we will briefly touch upon each of the major types of malware that can cause system damage.
Trojan Horses: As the name suggests, Trojan Horse software is designed to trick you! When you open what you think is a cool new game you found on the internet, you might actually be falling for this type of malware. It works by disguising itself as some sort of software that you want hoping that you will install it. Once you do it has free reign over your system because your computer sees that you gave it permission to run when you installed it.
Spyware: This type of malware consists of all types of software designed to spy on you. This spying can be the relatively innocent collection of your web surfing habits for market research to very serious logs of all your keystrokes designed to steal bank account and password info. Spyware is also often responsible for annoying changes in computer settings that can result in forcing you to only visit one website or to lose connection to the internet altogether.
Rootkit: One of the most dangerous forms of malware, a rootkit exploits a weak point in your computer and gives itself permission to do whatever it wants on a computer. Once this permission is achieved, a rootkit can hide all of its activity from you and complete any variety of tasks. These activities include (but are not limited to) hiding applications that spy on you, stealing passwords, and spreading itself through local networks. Rootkits are very hard to detect and even harder to remove.
Viruses and Worms: Despite popular conception, viruses are usually not the most dangerous thing to your system. Although viruses are capable of executing dangerous code, many do nothing more than replicate themselves through the internet and local networks. Specialized viruses that hide within the code of another program are known as worms. Worms, like viruses, can be programmed to corrupt or modify files on a computer and must be removed whenever possible. Keep in mind, however, that when people say "virus" they are generally referring to some other type of malware because viruses and worms are often completely invisible to the user. Visit our services page to find out about removing viruses and malware!