Erm's I.T. Girl – Zelna Ellis

Don't fear when Zel is near…

PC Security Part 1: Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Malware & Spyware

Intro

Oh boy, what a week, there were and there still are a few worms, amongst underthings, on the loose. So what is these things and what can we do about these pesky things?

  • A Computer Virus is a program that runs without the user’s knowledge or permission. It can spread throughout the computer including attached external devices, e.g. flash drives & networks, damaging files including the operating system.
  • A Worm can copies itself repeatedly in memory, disks, networks, etc. using up resources and possibly shutting down the computer or network.
  • A Trojan Horse hides within a program or looks like a legimate program. A certain condition usually triggers the Trojan Horse into action. Also it can infect files. Unlike Viruses and Worms it doesn’t replicate itself to other computers.
  • Malware is computer code that is on your computer that can give the attacker control over your system.
  • Spyware is computer software that is installed on a computer to collect information about a user, their computer, browsing habits, etc.

The Bottom Line
These programs and/or code is malicious and have damaging affects on computer systems and storage devices.

What now?

Well, there are several programs one can use, but I want to recommend a few other programs than just the Antivirus programs. The problem comes in that a lot of users don’t know how to use the programs to their benefit.

    My Favourites
    Please note there are a lot of software available but these are my favourites. Most of them are free for personal use or is freeware.

  • Firewall ZoneAlarm Free for non-commercial use. ±33MB. Will explain in a forthcoming post how to configure and use ZoneAlarm.
  • Anti-Spyware & Anti-Malware Spybot Search & Destroy ±16MB. Will explain in a forthcoming post how to use Spybot and TeaTimer.
  • Anti-Malware Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free for non-commercial use. ±33MB. Can also download atFileHippo.
    Standalone Antivirus, etc. Tools

  • Flash Disinfector Read a previous post here. There is a download link or just search the Web for it. ±130KB
  • McAfee Stinger Read more here. ±3.5MB
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware ±3MB. Note: This is a Shareware Program!

Conslusion

As mentioned before it is important to know how to use some of these programs correctly in order for it be effective. Especially ZoneAlarm and Spybot’s TeaTimer.
There are also other "tips" that can prevent malicious code and/or programs to infect your computer.
Will cover these topics in upcoming posts.

In my opinion nothing is a 100% secure, but we can take measures to make it a bit more difficult for the attackers and/or malicious programs to infect our systems.

20 May 2009 - Posted by | P.C. Troubleshooting | , , , , , ,

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