What’s the Difference between Malware, Viruses and Spyware?

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The word malware is a combination of two words “malicious” and “software”. It is a generic term used to describe any hostile and intrusive software/programs including adware, spyware, worms, Trojans, and viruses normally targeted by software like Kaspersky, McAfee, and AVG. While all these infections harm our computers, they are not the same.

Is it a malware, virus or spyware
Malware, virus and sypware – which is which

Malware is becoming a more common term because of the wide variety of different threats to computers and the potential of an infection not being a virus but one of the other mentioned infections. If you’re not fully protected, the wrong bit of malware can compromise your machine or even lead to your personal information getting stolen by identity thieves.

The main purpose of this article is to discuss but a few differences and ways this harmful programs get into your computer and their general characteristics:

What Is A Virus/Malware

Computer virus the term that used to be generic in the earlier days of computers and the Internet. Any harmful software used to be branded as a virus; however, as more and more users became aware and exposed to the Internet, we started using the term “malware”. We use the word “virus” to describe a program that self-replicates after hooking itself onto other programs running in Windows. For example, a virus will attach itself to a program such as an office suite program like Word. Each time the Word program runs, the virus runs too, and it has the chance to reproduce and even attach itself to other programs. Further, we have email viruses:

An e-mail virus is transmitted as an attachment to e-mail message, and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to dozens of people in the victim’s e-mail contacts’ book. Some e-mail viruses will not even require to be opened; In the event you just preview the infected email message, the virus becomes activated!

What Is Spyware

This is 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.

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