May 30, 2024


The Techno Universe

Computer Security and the Big Three

The three main threats to your computer security are Adware, Spyware and Malware. They all are similar because they are unwanted programs or applications that are performing tasks that you have not authorised. They use up your valuable system resources and do not offer any benefit to you.

The differences between the three

Adware is the most legitimate of these nuisances and more often than not will be in the form of freeware, software you don’t have to pay for. It is advertising material which is packaged into software and is installed automatically on your system when a particular piece of software is installed. For example you install a piece of software to scan an image and you also get a photo album program containing lots of advertising. This as a security risk is minimal as it is intended to simply be an advert(s).

Spyware on the other hand is software that does not intentionally harm your system, but is intrusive. They create streams of communication to your computer system. Their normal practice is to record your interaction with your system. The keys you press and the websites you visit as a minimum, this is used later by the web advertisers so they can target you with unwanted and unrelated pop-ups and e-mails. They are also installed automatically with other related programs. They scan your computer monitoring your applications, chat room programs, cookies and your website activities. They gather this information to build a profile that they can send to the Spyware author. This information can then be used for advertising, marketing and sold to other parties.

Malware is the most destructive form of these security risks. They were and are still designed solely for the purpose of damaging your computer. Malware includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, some spyware and adware and crimeware.The main culprits of this type attempt to self replication in an effort to infect as many parts of your system as possible. They delete, modify and move files to stop your system from working properly. Some Malware is more harmful than others, but they all attempt to do damages to your system. It gets more serious when your computer is connected to a network of other computers that all may become infected with these security risks.

All the threats above can be protected against with their equivalent software Antivirus, Malware, Adware and Spyware detectors. You will find that a lot of these programs combine the other forms of protection so you will find an Antivirus program that also protects you against Adware and Spyware or visa-versa. They all aim to scan your system to disinfect, quarantine or delete the problem from all areas of the computer and restore your computer security.

Signs of risk

Signs of computer security risks include pops ups that are unrelated to the content you are looking at or your system becomes very slow to load or work with compared to how it normally operates this could be related to Adware or Spyware. Malware can cause your system to slow down, but if your system starts acting unexpectedly then it is probably a virus. In all cases especially with Malware shut your computer down immediately and get it scanned using an independent disk to remove the threat.

Other ways to protect

You can use a firewall program to help combat theses threats and keep your system clean. If you avoid visiting or installing programs from less creditable sources you will be well on your way to keeping your system protected.