Viruses, Malware and Spyware Explained

Possible signs that you might have a virus;

  • Files mysteriously disappear or appear.
  • The hard drive starts the boot sequence but hangs before loading the operating system.
  • Files constantly get corrupted and they cannot be loaded by the application that created them.
  • The hard drive automatically formats (this one’s pretty much a dead give away).
  • The computer makes strange noises or the monitor displays strange graphics.
  • Unusual error messages appear on the screen.
  • Available disk space decreases without new files having been created.

A virus can easily spread by these methods;

  • Using disks that have been used on other computing systems.
  • Buying software from less than reliable sources, especially if it may be pirated.
  • Downloading files from bulletin boards or from the Internet.
  • Failing to write protect original program disks.
  • Connecting a computer to an unprotected network.

Here are 5 steps you can use to try and avoid an infection;

  1. Install and use anti-virus software. Set the software to run automatically at boot up. Anti-virus software is also available for use when surfing the net.
  2. Upgrade your Anti-Virus software regularly.
  3. Only buy software from reputable vendors; do not use pirated software.
  4. In a business situation, develop and follow site procedures regarding the use of software and all computer access.
  5. Have a recovery procedure in place in case of infection. This is particularly important in a business situation.

What is the difference between a virus and a worm?

  • A computer virus attaches itself to a program or file enabling it to spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels. Like a human virus, a computer virus can range in severity: some may cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your hardware, software or files.
  • A worm is similar to a virus by design and is considered to be a sub-class of a virus. Worms spread from computer to computer, but unlike a virus, it has the capability to travel without any human action. A worm takes advantage of file or information transport features on your system, which is what allows it to travel unaided.

What is Spy-ware?

Spy-ware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spy-ware is typically hidden from the user.

My favorite anti-virus software;

Kaspersky Internet Security – $49 USD
AVG Anti-virus
– Free


Love . Student, IT Consultant, Web Master and social media junkie. Interests include classical music, photography and gaming. Have Asperger’s and MDD.

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