Posted on: 1 April 2015
In this day and age, computer use is so utterly prevalent that it would be weird to not use a computer! However, there are some cases where modern people have a computer, but do not have access to it due to malicious software on their hard drive, which affects how their computer should work. If you have you had computer problems lately, like your software running slowly or your machine appearing to use up all of its RAM despite the fact you are running very few programs, you may have been infected by malware. In this brief article, you'll learn about five types of malware that may have infected your computer.
Adware is perhaps the most common type of malware that can affect your personal computer. There are actually forms of adware that are not considered malware – it is simply software that also advertises products in order to generate a profit for its creator. Occasionally, this type of software will be installed onto your computer without your consent. This is when adware is considered malware. You will be subject to unwanted advertisements and, sometimes, such software will monitor your online browsing activity to report back your browsing habits to the creator of said software.
Much like the form of adware that gathers information about the person using the program, spyware is any form of malware that gathers information about the user to send back to its creator. Most of the information that is gathered from spyware is browsing habits, as this is the information that it is easiest to gather.
Browsing habits can be used to garner information about things, such as your buying habits, so that advertisers can decide what advertisements to show you based on specific demographics. However, more malicious forms of spyware can gather unencrypted information you may have on your computer, such as your social security or credit card numbers.
Trojan programs are named after the Trojan Horse tale of Greek antiquity; these programs open themselves after you open another program. When you open a program that you have downloaded, under the assumption that you have merely opened a computer program that you wished to download, the Trojan will install itself onto your hard drive, and either maliciously infect other programs or access any information you may have on your computer or online.
A virus is perhaps the most common and oldest form of malware that has inserted itself into the public consciousness. Speaking of inserting itself, that is exactly what a computer virus does! A virus inserts itself into other programs and replicates itself. This can cause an entire litany of problems for your computer. At the very least, a virus can eat up available and precious CPU space, while even more malicious forms of viruses can steal private information and send it back to its creator.
A worm is a very damaging form of malware. While most of the other forms of malware on this list are content with attacking your personal computer and retrieving or destroying your information, a worm is, by design, constructed to propagate itself to other computers. Some worms serve to steal bandwidth from networks, while others are far more malicious. Worms can take over an entire series of networked computers, much to the chagrin of many system operators.
You should make yourself aware of these various forms of malware in order to protect your computer from their effects. If your computer has been acting odd and you suspect that it is already infected with malware, the good news is that most malware can be quickly removed by a professional, leaving your computer as good as new. A local computer store can assist you in troubleshooting your machine, helping you remove malware, or helping you purchase a brand new computer if yours cannot be fixed.Share