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Malware, Spyware, Adware, Or A Virus - Here Are The Differences
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People often call me and tell me they have a virus and usually it is malware, to the end user the difference may seem small, but to the person you call the difference can be a completely different methodology in removing the infection. Below I am going to outline the basic differences between the three.

The Virus

A computer virus can be likened to the Flu and acts in much the same manner. They are usually hidden inside other programs and run when the program does, they will then replicate and then corrupt or delete files on your system, causing considerable damage. They can also interfere with your computer by replicating in the RAM (Random Access Memory) or on the hard drive and fill them up.

They can be downloaded in a variety of ways in the form of games, email attachments or image files.


Spyware is another kind of infection that does what the name says, once downloaded onto your system, through many of the same ways as a virus (email, games, or images), it sits on your system and spies on your activity. They can contain keyloggers, these keyloggers will record everything you type and look for personal information, which can then be used to find the passwords to bank accounts, or credit information needed for Identity Theft. Other types will change your system settings and slow your computer or internet connection down to a crawl.


To most people Adware is the most in your face, once it is installed it will track your browser history, then it will hit you with pop up adds, we have all seen them, you open up your browser, and then you get hit with the advertisements that take over your web browser, usually opening a new window.

Now, these may seem like they would not be that much of a problem, or even lead you to something that you would buy, but many of these programs are loaded with spyware or keyloggers themselves and are taking your information causing your privacy to be invaded or your computer to be damaged.


Malware is the broad based term for labeling all of they types of Malicious software including Viruses, Adware, Spyware, and other such as worms and Trojan Horses. Malware is designed to allow hackers and other nefarious types access to your computer, or just to cause you trouble.


This is a broad overview of the different types of Malware, There are more and I will cover all of these in greater detail in further blogs. The best way to stop any of these viruses, is not to get infected in the first place, so be aware of emails and programs that you open or download.

I hope you enjoyed the read!

Street Talk

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