Common Computer Questions

 by Tucson Computer Repairs

520-395-6692

Tucson's #1 Mobile Computer Doctor


Table of Contents

  1. What is Adware?
  2. What is Spyware?
  3. What are Viruses?
  4. How to prevent Viruses, Spyware and Adware?

 


What is Adware?

Adware is a close relative of spyware. Adware is software that is installed on your computer to show you advertisements, both good and bad.

Adware can slow your PC by using RAM and CPU cycles. Adware can also slow your Internet connection by using up bandwidth to retrieve advertisements. In addition, adware can increase the instability of your system because many adware applications are not programmed well.In addition, adware can annoy you and waste huge amounts of your time by popping unwanted ads onto your screen, which require you to close them before you can get back to using your PC.

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What is Spyware?

Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user's interaction with the computer, without the user's informed consent.

While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user's behavior, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software, redirecting Web browser activity, or diverting advertising revenue to a third party. Much of spyware will reinstall themselves even after you think you have removed them, or hide themselves deep within the Windows operating system, making them very difficult to clean.

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What are Viruses?

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. The original virus may modify the copies or the copies may modify themselves, as occurs in a metamorphic virus. A virus can only spread from one computer to another when its host is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB drive. Additionally, viruses can spread to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer. Viruses are sometimes confused with computer worms and Trojan horses. A worm can spread itself to other computers without needing to be transferred as part of a host, and a Trojan horse is a file that appears harmless until executed.

Many viruses will reinstall themselves even after you think you have removed them, or hide themselves deep within the Windows operating system, making them very difficult to clean.

Many personal computers are now connected to the Internet and to local area networks, facilitating the spread of malicious code. Today's viruses may also take advantage of network services such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, and file sharing systems to spread, blurring the line between viruses and worms. Furthermore, some sources use an alternative terminology in which a virus is any form of self-replicating malware.

Some viruses are programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard disk. Others are not designed to do any damage, but simply replicate themselves and perhaps make their presence known by presenting text, video, or audio messages. Even these benign viruses can create problems for the computer user. They typically take up computer memory used by legitimate programs. As a result, they often cause erratic behavior and can result in system crashes. In addition, many viruses are bug-ridden, and these bugs may lead to system crashes and data loss.

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How to prevent viruses, spyware & adware?

Tips for computer security and to prevent malware

You must run quality security software on your computers to protect your work and private data from viruses, spyware, and other security threats. When it comes to security, there is no substitute for quality. See below our recommended quality solutions. If any of the following is difficult for you, get an IT Expert to do it for you. You must do the following or risk all of your work/data being compromised (think of it as locking your front door):

  1. Get good anti virus software e.g. one of the below.
    Recommended anti virus software:
    - AVG - Our most recommended 'Free' Anti Virus software.
    - Norton Anti virus
    - McAffee Anti Virus

    Be sure to regularly update your 'virus definitions' e.g. once per week
  2. Install a quality Firewall
    There are many firewalls available, some good, some bad. Our recommendation is the FREE ZoneAlarm. They provide a paid version with extra tools (of course), but we think the free firewall-only option is fine. Its getting harder on their site to see the free one (so look carefully!). At time of writing, go here, scroll down and click the free option. If the above link doesn't work, start looking from the Zone Alarm front page.

 

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