Dealing with Digital Disease

Written by Sean Felker

A virus is a program that replicates itself. It cannot exist on its own so it attaches to another program, usually an executable one.

A worm is like a virus—it also replicates itself. However, it can stand on its own and does not need another program to run. It usually infects your computer’s networking features, which includes its internet connection.

Spyware and adware go hand-in-hand. Spyware is a kind of program which gathers information, specifically browsing habits.

It tracks down what kind of sites you visit, andrepparttar adware will generate ads that fit with your interest whichrepparttar 147815 spyware based on information it gathered inrepparttar 147816 first place.

Malware is malicious software. It’s any program that is useless, or worse, destructive. A Trojan a program pretending to be good but once it’s deep in your system it proves to be quiterepparttar 147817 opposite.

In spite of all their differences, they have one thing in common: they are out to give you headaches by rendering your computer unusable.

To protect your computer as much as possible from being infected, here are four dangerous activities that you should avoid, or at least minimize:

• Opening email attachments

Do not open any email attachments if they aren’t scanned by antivirus software. Worms can spread through email, so even a friend can unwittingly send you one by way of an attachment.

• Internet File-sharing

In file-sharing viarepparttar 147818 internet, your computer is exposed and open to others it is communicating with. If other computers’ files can be transferred to yours,repparttar 147819 same thing can be said about a virus, ifrepparttar 147820 others are infected.

• Downloading free software of questionable origins.

Free software is free for a reason. If you bothered to readrepparttar 147821 End User License Agreement (EULA) of a software you are installing—which you probably didn’t—you most likely will come upon a short and tiny clause saying that if you agree torepparttar 147822 terms, you are allowing advertisements to pop up on your screen, or other software to be installed in your system.

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