Protecting Your PC From The Spyware Siege - Knowledge Is The Key
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PC users and businesses often believe that technology will ultimately solve
their problems. However the solutions to the threats of spy ware, spam and
viruses are not purely technological. Users themselves can do a lot by modifying
The key is to be properly informed. There is a wealth of information
available regarding what to do to protect your PC and ensure your privacy.
However, as with most technological subjects, you will encounter a significant
amount of "jargon" and technical terms. To demystify some of the
jargon, here are some plain English definitions:
Adware - Software that is offered for free, but that regularly bombards you
Blended threat - Malware that uses a variety of techniques to maximize its
chances of replicating and/or taking control of a PC.
Botnet - A network of computers that has been infected with malware and is
being controlled remotely for devious purposes (eg sending spam, or for use in
denial-of-service attacks on corporate websites).
Identity Theft - Stealing confidential information (eg credit card numbers,
bank account numbers, system passwords) and using that information for criminal
Keylogger - Software that tracks what you type and sends it via the internet
to another party.
Malware - Catch-all term for any kind of code with malicious intent,
including viruses, worms, spyware and trojans.
Phishing - Attempting to access private information (eg passwords) by
masquerading via email as a trustworthy person or company.
Ransomware - Software that encrypts data on a computer, after which payment
is demanded to unencrypt the information.
Rootkit - Software designed to conceal its presence on a computer, thus
enabling hacking and information theft without the user's knowledge.
Spyware - Software that attempts to surreptitiously track activity on your PC.
Trojan - A program that disguises itself as something else (eg a useful
utility) as a distribution tactic.
Virus - Self replicating code which can often perform tasks such as hard disc
formatting and personal information theft.
Worm - Malware code that replicates itself via network vulnerabilities.