Help, I was sitting in front of my computer and it started acting strange! Pop-ups were on my screen and I was not even surfing the web. My home page was changed somehow and so did other web settings. My programs are at a crawl and overall my computer is just not working the way it should be.
If this sounds like your computer, chances are you have been infected with some type of malicious software. Several types of software can infect your computer; some of these are spyware, a virus, a Trojan, and a worm. That is why you need security software.
Below is a brief and simple description of the software that can infect your computer and cause poor performance.
· Spyware is a program that gathers information about the user through the internet without their knowledge. It monitors your web activity and passes this information to another party without your knowledge. Spyware is designed for commercial gain, thus when it is installed in your computer you will probably receive unsolicited pop-up advertisements. It can also gather your email addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers stored on your computer.
· A virus is programming code or a piece of code that loads onto your computer without your consent. A virus is also self-replicating by inserting copies into an executable code or documents. Any virus is dangerous as it uses up memory and brings your system to a halt.
· A worm is much like a virus in the fact that it is self-replicating but differs in the fact that it does not need another program to do so. A worm can spread itself without any action from the user. A worm can attach itself to you address book and send a copy to everyone in it, then attaches itself to the receiver’s address book in addition, send it out to everyone in that address book. Worms are dangerous and in the end can cause networks to crash.
· Trojans are designed as legitimate software that you can download onto your computer. Once installed though, they can be annoying and/or malicious. Annoying activities of a Trojan would be changing your desktop around or silly icons appearing. Malicious damage from a Trojan is capable of deleting files on your computer and allowing personal and confidential information to be collected without you being aware.
Preventing spyware and other malicious software from infecting your computer through security software is lots easier by going online and finding a reputable online scanning site after the fact. Sometimes if your computer is infected, you may not even be able to get online. Therefore, prevention is better than fixing.
You can protect your computer from malicious programs in many ways. Here are a few tips to consider.
Always have the latest version of anti virus and anti-spyware technology on your computer. You will also need to keep the program files up to date in order to protect against newest threats.
Only download files from a trusted source. If you are not sure, run a virus scan on the file before downloading it or saving to your computer.
There are limitless resources on the internet offering anti spyware and antivirus programs. Many sites offer free online scans, and provide instructions for removal of any malicious programs on your computer. Once you have selected a well known, (well-known being the optimal word) follow the instructions for installation carefully to ensure that the scan will work properly. Below are the most common and well-known virus and spyware removal programs.
McAfee (mcafee.com) virus remover features up-to-date protection from the latest viruses and web activity threats for the user. They have three main anti-virus and anti-spyware programs that you can choose perfect for home and business uses.
Microsoft has an anti spyware (microsoft.com) removal tool that you can use to scan your computer. This functions mainly by reviewing and checking your files for unwanted software contents, and once found can be selected and removed depending on the procedures indicated on the program. Just follow the tools and guides on how you can remove the infected files.
Ad Ware Personal provided by Lavasoft.com features scanning and fixing infected files and drives, detection of known and unknown but potentially damaging software with its Code Sequence Identification (CSI) technology. This program also has a spyware removal and capabilities of removing other damaging programs in your system.
The above sites are just a few of anti spyware and anti virus removal programs that are available on the web. Take the time and do the research and you will find the right security software for your needs. Once again, it is imperative that the site you select for your computer security is credible.