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Malware, Spyware, and Adware – The Differences Between The Three

Run Malwarebytes From Command Prompt_ll Knowing the differences between Malware, spyware and adware can help you to stay away from trouble

Most computer users know when they hear the words “spyware”, “malware”, or “adware”, that the general connation is negative. But most users don’t know the differences between these three software programs. Understanding spyware vs. adware and knowing exactly what malware is can help users better protect their computer from becoming attacked or corrupted by software programs.

What is Malware?

 

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Malware is a broad term for any type of unwanted software that purposefully harms, attacks, corrupts, changes, or halts a computer’s performance. Most of the time, malware is downloaded without a user understanding the download’s true purpose or without the user’s permission. Malware includes viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and other harmful or privacy-invading software.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a tricky computer software programs that disguises itself and tracks a user’s computer habits often without the user’s permission or even realization. Spyware can jeopardize the privacy of users’ passwords, banking information, and other personal details. It can keep a record of websites visited and also memorize minute details, such as every key pressed on a user’s keyboard. Spyware is designed to be hard to remove and can seriously threaten a user’s computer safety.

What is Adware?

Adware is also tracking software that tailors advertisements to an individual’s particular preference. These preferences are determined by tracking a user’s purchases and web history. Adware can send all of this information back to marketers and companies. Users often give companies permission to use adware on their computer through tricky download schemes. While adware is not harmful to a user’s computer like spyware, it is considered by many to be an invasion of privacy.

How to Avoid Malware

Internet safety should always be practiced to ensure spyware is not accidentally downloaded. Users should never open email attachments they do not recognize, click on links they do not trust, or install programs they’re uncertain of. Users should also be sure to read all user agreements before accepting any downloads that could potentially end up harming their computer or tracking their web usage. Internet security or firewall protection can also help avoid malware when surfing the web.

Removing Types of Malware

Getting rid of malware can be a difficult task. Purchasing or downloading anti-malware software is a good place to start. This can help get rid of existing malware and prevent new malware from sneaking onto a user’s computer. If malware is still running, users should try disconnecting from the internet, then running the malware scan and removal. The next step after this would be running the computer in safe mode and then running the scan. A professional should be consulted if unable to remove malware once in safe mode.

Malware is relentless software designed to track users’ movements across the internet and their computer. Spyware, a form of malware, is a harmful program that can severely alter or damage a computer’s operation. Adware, while virtually harmless, is a form of malware that can infringe upon a user’s privacy rights. Anti-malware protection should be used to avoid these trackers.

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Published: Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 Last Modified: April 15, 2014

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