Adware, Spyware, Spam, Worms, and More
This kind of software is used for marketing purposes, and is a generic software application in which advertisements are displayed while running other software applications. Adware can be downloaded to your computer while you’re browsing websites or when you’re installing other software.
This kind of software collects information from you (like your browsing habits or your phone number), and sends it to a remote site without the user’s knowledge or permission, sometimes for profit. Additionally, spyware can download malicious programs from the internet to a user’s computer by itself. Spyware works a lot like adware, but oftentimes it is a separate program that is installed unknowingly, usually when a user downloads another software application.
Spam is basically electronic junk. Spam refers to annoying messages that flood the internet with copies of itself. Spam is usually repeatedly unsolicited advertising, and mostly seen in e-mails. Spam e-mails often include phishing links in the guise of other familiar web links.
These are nasty programs that make copies of themselves on the local drive, network shares, and so on. As a result, worms take up a lot of space on the hard drive and massively drain network bandwidth. Worms also consume CPU usage, which makes your PC run slower. Worms do not harm data and files on computers. Unlike viruses, worms do not need to attach themselves to an existing program, which means they can more easily exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems.
A virus is a program that can damage and alter files or data. Viruses have the ability to delete data on a computer, and can replicates themselves and then spread to other computers.
Trojan horses (or simply trojans) are not viruses, and they do not replicate themselves. However, trojans are dangerous as they open up backdoors to your computer, which can allow attackers into your system to collect confidential and personal information.
Cookies are used by websites to track visitor information. Cookies will keep track of browsing information, and they are sometimes used by malicious people or companies to get personal information such as bank account details or credit card information. Cookies are stored on a computer in the “Cookies” folder as a plain text file.
These are misleading applications or ads that show false computer security statuses, like “WARNING: your computer is infected,” even when your computer is not. The application leads users to download unreliable tools to remove the threat. But when downloading these suspicious tools, another notification will usually pop up asking for payment information. In this way, a user’s bank account details, some money, and the user’s personal information can be gathered unknowingly.