Virus or computer viruses are uninvited visitors of a computer unit. Early viruses are self-replicating program that floods the network and usually send spam messages. The first known virus is known as “Creeper” wherein it will send out a message saying “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” to the network. Later on, Reaper was created to delete the Creeper virus.
People are usually confused about computer viruses, Trojan horses, computer worms, rootkits, spyware and adware. Here is a short description of their differences:
• A computer virus is a program that can easily multiply and can infect one computer to another and needs to attach itself to a computer program.
• Trojan horses, just like in the Trojan War where the Greeks gave the city of Troy a wooden horse as a gift, with a bunch of men hidden inside. Trojan horses can steal information or harm their host computer systems by disguising as a helpful program which will eventually allow other viruses to infect your computer.
• Computer worm is somewhat similar with a computer virus but it doesn’t need to attach itself to a computer program and it frequently needs a network to multiply.
These three are the major types of Malware (Computer Virus, Trojan horse and Computer Worm)
Rootkit came from the word root plus the word kit. Root refers to the target computer and the word kit is pertaining to the set of tools used to gain access to the target computer with administrative privilege. Rootkit usually hide its existence from antivirus and modifies the operating system to hide the malicious activities performed by the attacker.
Spyware is another type of malware wherein the actions of the computer user is being monitored by a software hidden in the computer. The main purpose of this malware is to collect data and track the user’s activities on the computer.
Adware is the so-called unwanted pop-ups or sometimes a form of advertisement that shows up on your screen. It is somewhat related to spyware for it is mounted on users’ systems without their consent.
As we all know these computer viruses, Malware, Trojans, Rootkits, Spyware and Adware will cause inconvenience to each and every one of us, so we should be very cautious not to have any of these. As they say, prevention is better than cure and the most effective way of avoiding your computer from being infected is proper knowledge and good practice. Keep your antivirus updated!