Virus FAQ

What is a virus?
Isn’t a trojan the same thing?
What is adware?
What is spyware?
What is malware?
Where do viruses come from?
What can I do to avoid viruses?

What is a virus?

A virus is any unwanted program, script, or other executable that hides itself in your computer for the purpose of replicating to other computers or growing in size. Usually, viruses either want to use your computer to store something for them (spam, porn, pirated software) or they want to destroy a normally operating part of your system.

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Isn’t a trojan the same thing?

A trojan horse a.k.a “trojan” gets its name from the Trojan Horse of history. Like the historical trojan horse, this type of threat is generally non-malicious and seeks only to run itself in the background while the user suspects nothing. Most often, trojans are used to gather information such as keystrokes typed, sites visited, etc., or to create an open portal to allow other types of infections through. Since the goal of a trojan is to use a computer for its creator’s purposes, they can often go unnoticed for long periods of time.

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What is adware?

Adware is a generally non-malicious annoyance that seeks to gather information about a users browsing habits and then popup unwanted ads related to their supposed interests. Most recently, it seems that creators of adware are worrying less about what a user wants to see, and more about bombarding them with ads of any kind.

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What is spyware?

Spyware is generally used to spy on the habits of the user and steal information. It is generally non-malicious and used to track shopping, browsing, and computer usage habits. These statistics can be used to advertise products to the user in the future, or as a form of marketing analysis.

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What is malware?

Malware is generally referred to when talking about programs that actively attempt to disable virus scanners and other internet related protections while popping up their fake virus infection warnings. Most of these infections keep users from getting protection online by blocking the sites that most people would go to for helpful malware cleaning software. In addition, malware infections tend to scare users into purchasing the fake software suite in a desparate attempt to “clean” the computer. The only thing that ends up getting cleaned out is the user’s credit card or bank account, leaving the software infection behind as a horrible reminder.

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Where do viruses come from?

Virus and spyware infections are everywhere and can happen to even the most careful Tucson computer users. Unfortunately , the popularity of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter have lowered the guard of many internet users in recent months. Of coruse, viruses can always be caught the old fashioned way: by opening an infected program, downloading and running a virus infected file, or copying files from a public computer and not scanning them before use.

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What can I do to avoid viruses?

  • Always have a virus scanning software package installed and up-to-date.
  • Make sure that your virus scanning software is set to scan regularly.
  • If a virus message or warning pops up, be sure to carefully read the ENTIRE message. If you don’t know what to do, STOP and call us!
  • Steer clear of online e-cards, unless you know the web-site and can be 100% sure you know the person that sent it.
  • Don’t fall for common hoaxes
  • If you are going to communicate with others online, be sure to follow common tips to avoid social networking and messenger virus traps.
  • Remember: Trust carefully. Virtual friends should be kept at a safe distance at all times.

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