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Different Kinds of Malware and Spyware and Viruses

Updated on August 21, 2010

Different Kinds of Malware and Spyware and Viruses

The high-tech world of computing presents multiple challenges such as how much RAM to purchase, what operating system to install, and how to avoid malware, spyware, and viruses. Herein we present a brief compendium of nasty software that hardly anyone wants on their computer. Read on to learn about several different kinds of programs causing mass problems in the universe of digital happenings.

Malware

Malware is a category of software programs that negatively impact the operation of your computer and are typically installed without your consent. Devious computer programmers create programs to do evil things such as:

  • Capture your keystrokes and relay them to a remote computer,
  • Monitor your Internet browsing activity and insert relevant advertising windows to sell you stuff,
  • Use your Internet connection to send spam email to unsuspecting recipients,
  • Store files on your computer for other people around the world to access, and
  • Steal your files for the purpose of obtaining personal information about you.

The simplest (and only) way to keep a computer 100% secure is to never connect it to the Internet. Short of that, knowledge is power. "Know your malware" should be the mantra of every computer user from Sacramento to Schenectady.

What kinds of Malware Threatens Your Computer?

Malware variants proliferate virtually every day, but a few obvious strains should be familiar to responsible computer users. Here are a few things to look for.

Foulware

Overview: Your computer becomes part of an Intranet connecting hen houses throughout Iowa and Indiana.

Symptoms:

Residue: Look for cLuCk.dll in in your Program Files folder.

Removal: Go outside and play. Wash your car. Introduce yourself to your neighbors.

=======================================

Palware

Overview: Your computer becomes part of an international social network interconnecting millions of user who otherwise would be able lead normal lives. Your twitter account fills up with messages from people you've never heard of who insist on telling the world how long the line might be at the local Starbucks.

Symptoms: Hundreds of new icons appear in your taskbar for each of the social networking apps installed on your computer. Everyone in the world seems to know what you're doing before you do.

Residue: Scan your My Documents folder for text files exactly 140 characters long.

Removal: Go outside and play. Buy a Frisbee, mow the lawn, take up fishing.

=======================================

Cowlware

Overview: Your computer becomes part of the Gotham City emergency response network.

Symptoms: When crime rears its' ugly head, your screen saver becomes a Bat Signal. Any attempt to play online poker results in nothing but jokers.

Residue: Look for registry entry [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU\riddlerEnabled].

Removal: Go outside and play. Learn to play tennis. Borrow a kayak. Rake your leaves.

=======================================

Owlware

Overview: Your computer becomes a mouse server for raptor birds in your neighborhood.

Symptoms:Your Internet browser pops up ads for hamster accessories. You begin receiving unsolicited emails from the Sierra Club.

Residue: Mouse droppings in the power supply will no longer be a problem.

Removal: Go outside and play. Count the stars in the sky. Sweep your driveway.

=======================================

Conclusion

Be painfully aware of different kinds of malware and spyware and viruses and how they might infest your computer.

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    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I trust Norton. Works for me... Thanks for the information...

    • nicomp profile image
      Author

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @dabeaner... Your going outside and playing app should be in firmware: it it's been swapped out to backing storage due to extended idle time, simply stepping out your front door and picking up a hula hoop should trigger a hardware interrupt to immediately reload it.

    • dabeaner profile image

      dabeaner 7 years ago from Nibiru

      I would have liked to have seen a bit more detail, such as exactly which version of Windows we should use to best install and run all the malware we may be interested in hosting. In addition, how much disk space should we allot? And, should we set up a separate disk partition so that our malware apps will not be corrupted? How often should we back up our malware apps?

      BTW, is there an app for going outside and playing?

    • nicomp profile image
      Author

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @ruminator aka susannajade: Hey! Can I have a free backlink?

    • nicomp profile image
      Author

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @psychicdog.net: I'm as surprised as you are.

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      Nicomp that horse looks a lot like a trojan - very unusual to see it's got into the potplant rather than your computer

    • nicomp profile image
      Author

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Tom Whitworth: Peter Norton is my hero!

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      nicomp,

      Do you mean I can't just leave it to Norton?

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      You said it well.I neesed to hear that.

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