Protection Against Viruses
How do I manage viruses, worms and trojans?
The only way to manage viruses, worms and trojans is through using anti virus software and keeping the anti virus definitions updated regularly. Keeping the definitions updated regularly means that new viruses can be detected as they spread through the Internet.
Viruses, worms and trojans are all termed malicious code which can cause significant damage to information and computers including data loss, computers "crashing", identity theft, and general computer compromise.
What is the difference between viruses and other types of malicious code?
Viruses: A virus is a program that makes copies of itself and spreads by attaching itself to a host, often damaging the host in the process. Since the 1990s, most viruses are macro viruses written specifically for the Windows environment to infect files by exploiting vulnerabilities in Word and Outlook. Famous examples include Klez, Melissa and Sobig.
Worms: A worm is similar to a virus in that in replicates itself however, unlike a virus, it is self contained and does not need to attach itself to an executable program. Worms delete files and crash computers or servers by using up all resources. Famous examples include CodeRed and Blaster.
Trojans: A trojan is a stand-alone program that does not attach to another program and does not move from one computer to another on its own. The word is derived from the classical myth of the Trojan Horse where Greek soldiers gained access to Troy in a giant wooden horse. Trojans are often used as keyloggers to capture passwords and financial information and send this to a third party without your knowledge. They are spread automatically through the Internet and local networks, through email attachments and through portable writable media (such as CD's, flash sticks and disks).
What is Malicious Code?
Malicious Code code is a general term for spyware, keystroke loggers, screen shot software, adware and popups, dialers, joke programs, hacking tools, remote access tools, rootkits, password cracking applications, and any other software that can compromise the security on your computer. You should also protect against Viruses.
How Do I get Malicious Code on My Computer and what are the risks?
Malicious code is downloaded to your computer generally either when visiting a malicious site on the Internet or is downloaded when you click on an infected email attachment.
Malicious code can collect information from your computer and so gather personal information about you. This information can include your passwords, bank and computer account details, email addresses, web browsing history, etc. This is an invasion of privacy and there is a risk of identify theft and loss of confidential information.
How do I Protect My Computer from Malicious Code (Spyware, Adware and Popups)?
For general information on spyware, read the Good Anti-Spyware Guide
There are two main options for protection:
1) Use a combination of free software programs
There are a number of free software programs available to protect against spyware:
Tools for Discovering Spyware Processes
2) Buy a commercial anti-spyware software package
Updated: 06 December 2012