Malware – Viruses, Spyware and Adware

You are surfing a website or opening an attachment from a friend’s email when it happens. A strange pop-up appears. Perhaps then Windows starts to respond strangely. Your Internet browser begins to randomly open sites or displays ad banners in pop-up windows. All of these are signs of malware infection and indicate that it’s time to prevent further infection and file damage.

Some of these symptoms may seem like more of an annoyance than a threat. However, where one malware may be irritating, another may be gathering your personal data and using it without your knowledge. Yet another virus may be launching warfare on your computer’s system files, which your computer needs to run properly. Because it’s difficult to determine the virus’ threat level, it’s always important to respond with computer virus removal as soon as you identify an infection.

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is an invading program, usually obtained from launching infected websites, downloading an infected file or installing an infected program. Viruses can cause various issues with your computer from sending infected emails to downloading more viruses to complicate the infection. Tricky viruses are designed to hide and imitate important system files or pass themselves off as legitimate programs, sometimes even as virus scanners, making computer virus removal even more difficult to execute. Because you can never tell what the infected program is really doing to your computer’s files and your personal data every time you turn on your machine, it’s better to remove the virus rather than risk data loss.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a type of malware that tracks and obtains information about you and your computer habits. This can be as simple as a program that records which websites you visit or as dangerous as a keylogger that records what you type, including personal password and login information. Spyware programs can slow down your computer and Internet connections, change your computer settings and even alter your Internet homepage. Because spyware gathers and shares your personal data, it’s extremely important to clean the malware from your computer and protect your data from theft.

What is Adware?

Adware is another type of malware that often displays pop-up windows that contain banners or ads for products or websites. Sometimes adware can even alter your browser settings and cause your browser to open webpages that you do not authorize. Adware tends to be difficult to get rid of and can require specialized virus software to remove.

Malware Removal and Prevention

If your computer becomes infected, don’t panic! You can find a number of virus programs online, often for free, that identify and remove all types of malware. If you run repeated scans and keep finding more viruses, this may be a sign of a downloader infection. In this case, ensure that your computer is not connected to the Internet when scanning to prevent existing viruses from downloading more infected files.

Computer hackers and virus developers are constantly releasing new threats on the Internet, often faster than normal computer virus removal and spyware removal software can combat. Software is a powerful tool, but it can’t always identify and remove every type of malware. When software fails or when sensitive operating system files become infected, technicians can also provide professional computer virus removal services that clean your computer without damaging mandatory programs and files.

Usually, however, prevention is the best practice when dealing with infection. Ensure that you have an update malware program that always runs in the background and alerts you to issues before they happen. Also, don’t open files from unusual emails, install unknown programs or navigate to websites that seem suspicious in nature. In the end, the only good computer virus is the one that you didn’t catch.

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