There are several different types of software which can be harmful to your computer. These are generally categorizes as computer viruses, or spyware. Your 911 call should connect you with the nearest and best computer trouble shooting center.
• Viruses - A virus is a small piece of software that replicates itself. A virus might attach itself to a program such as a spreadsheet program. Each time the spreadsheet program runs, the virus runs, too, and it has the chance to reproduce (by attaching to other programs) or wreak havoc.
• E-mail viruses - An e-mail virus moves around in e-mail messages, and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to dozens of people in the victim's e-mail address book.
• Worms - A worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to replicate itself. A copy of the worm scans the network for another machine that has a specific security hole. It copies itself to the new machine using the security hole, and then starts replicating from there, as well.
• Trojan horses - A Trojan horse is simply a computer program. The program claims to do one thing (it may claim to be a game, or a "free" piece of software) but instead does damage when you run it (it may erase your hard disk). Trojan horses have no way to replicate automatically. They are called Trojan horses because they are sometimes disguised as normal computer programs.
Spyware is defined as any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.
Spyware often causes "pop-up" advertisements to appear on the user's screen, without the user's knowledge or consent. These pop-ups can be quite a headache, and spyware itself often slows down computers to a slow crawl.
Because spyware exists as independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other spyware programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the spyware author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party. When the home page of your web browser changes without your knowledge or consent, this is referred to a home-page hijacking.
Sometimes, a computer is so badly infected with viruses and spyware that the harmful software cannot be removed without completely formatting the hard drive (deleting all files) and reinstalling the operating system. Now is when you contact your computer repair store. Ask for the computer virus repair technician. The tech will offer a data backup solution and note which programs you had installed, and then perform a BFR (Backup, Format, Reinstall, Restore) on your system. When the virus and spyware removal is completed, ask for instructions on how to run the programs that were installed to prevent viruses and spyware from compromising your system in the future.
This article was prepared and written by Jeff Atto of Concise Computer Consulting, LLC, located at 2150 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Please contact us for any question about your home computer or laptop. 248-745-8255 My email address is [email protected] and our website is http://www.concisePC.com
This article was submitted by Right Now Marketing Group, LLC
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Concise Computer Consulting, LLC www.concisepc.com focuses on supporting the technological needs of small businesses, as well as the technically challenged homeowner. We support a wide range of clients in every field imaginable. We are quite familiar with popular software packages, and are able to also assist you with industry-specific or custom software issues. Concise is your one-stop-shop for all technological related needs.
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