What is Malware, Adware and Spyware?

What is Malware, Adware and Spyware?

Malware, Adware and Spyware….what do they all mean? These are all potential threats and unfortunately for us, they are only getting more advanced. Take a look at the definitions below and learn a bit more about the nature of these threats:

  • Malware – A buzz word for intrusive software, including computer viruses, Trojan horses and adware.
  • Adware – Software that automatically downloads or displays advertising banners or pop ups when you are online.
  • Spyware – Software that enables you to obtain information about another computer’s activities by transmitting data using their hard drive.
  • Viruses – Small programs or scripts that can negatively affect the health of your computer. These malicious programs can create files, move files, erase files, consume your computer’s memory and cause your computer not to function correctly.
  • Worms – A type of virus that replicates itself, but does not alter any files on your machine. However, worms can still create chaos by multiplying so many times that they take up all your computer’s available memory or hard disk space. If a worm consumes your memory, your computer will run very slowly and possibly even crash.
  • Trojan Horses –Software programs that look like regular programs, such as games and even antivirus programs. Once they are run, these programs can do malicious things to your computer.

Phishing is part of this group. Our Ninjas have devised some more tips to help you and your staff stay safe:

  • Have up to date antivirus software installed on your systems. Without this, you could be in trouble.
  • Install security patches. Patching helps to protect your devices and has become extremely important as part of the updating process.
  • Be careful with any software you install. Contact your IT provider if you are unsure.
  • Delete any unknown emails. Never download or open attachments unless you are sure it’sfrom someone you know.If you receive emails from random people, do not open them.
  • Avoid clicking on ads. Especially ads where something is bright and colourful, with the possibility that you can win a prize! Ads have become more sophisticated and interactive so that you’ll be tempted to play it like a game.
  • Your IT support company should have all this taken care of. If you have any questions or concerns, call them and make sure everything is in place. That’s what they are there for!

Ensuring your systems are protected is vital, as well as your team members being aware and up to date. General statistics reveal that there are around 390,000 new malicious programs discovered every day!

Next time, see our blog post about regular backups and why it is so important.