Does your computer seem sick? Malicious software may be to blame.
This malicious software may be in the form of a virus, adware or spyware. Many users are not really interested in the actual difference between them – the mere fact that they can wreak havoc on your system and result in anything from poor performance to a complete computer failure is enough to know they need to be avoided!
What is a virus? A virus is a program that gets loaded onto your computer without you knowing about it and can potentially cause your PC to stop functioning and even result in data loss. A virus can create and run multiple copies of itself. Most people don’t realize they have a virus until their computer starts to run slowly, even a simple virus can be dangerous because it could quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. Some viruses are also capable of moving across networks and bypassing security systems to infect other computers.
What is spyware? Spyware and adware are different than viruses because they do not create copies of themselves and spread, nor do they result in data loss. The most common symptom of a spyware is that your computer will start to run very slowly and have trouble connecting to the internet. At times these programs may invade your privacy and attempt to share your personal information by transmitting it across the internet.
What is adware? Adware is usually loaded onto your PC when you download or install a free program. Many free programs are provided free because they rely on the built-in advertising to generate sales. Adware will not usually affect the performance of your computer, nor will it result in any data loss…but it can be extremely annoying to be inundated with advertising and pop-ups!