Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are all types of malicious software that can mean bad news for your PC or laptop, but many people use the terms interchangeably or incorrectly. While all three can do major damage, each one is technically different. Here’s the difference between the three and how to avoid them all.
Computer viruses act like any kind of virus you’ve ever encountered – they replicate and spread. These viruses latch on to programs or files and then spread from computer to computer. Email attachments are an easy way for viruses to spread, often through executable files. This means a human being actually has to run the program to get the virus going. While some viruses just slow your computer down to a crawl, others can do major damage.
These bad guys are very dangerous – they’ve even been known to take down servers. They don’t need to be attached to a program or an attachment; they just use networks to send malicious software to other computers – replicating themselves like viruses, spreading from computer to computer within the network.
Just like the Greek story, Trojan horses appear to be harmless but are actually programs hiding all sorts of malicious goodies. These bad boys are often very successful in fooling us, because they appear to be legitimate software, but when we click the trouble begins. Once the program is installed and running it can do anything from making strange and annoying changes all over your computer, to even deleting your files as it goes along its way. The only piece of good news? Trojan horses don’t replicate themselves like viruses and worms can.
Now that you know who these bad guys are, don’t let them get into your PC or laptop. Make sure your firewall is on and install and use anti-virus software. Run frequent anti-malware checks with a free scan from ChicaPC-Shield to be sure you haven’t accidentally downloaded any type of malicious software. The best advice? Always be careful what you click on.
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