Monday, December 03, 2007

Protecting your computer against Malware

Refurbished Laptops and malicious software

There are many programs that pose a threat for your computer. Some of them just cause it to slow down, while others can even wipe out your hard drive. They are called Malware and they are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. They can serve different purposes. Some of them are just written as an experiment or prank, while others are designed to vandalize, cause data loss, or engineered for a profit motive.

Adware: Also called advertising-supported software. It is a software which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertising material to your machine after the program is installed on it or while the application is being used. It usually comes in a bundle with free software. Adware is usually created for covering the engineering cost of the software so the developer will be able to offer it for free. If your desired program has adware attached to it, don’t download it. You will able to find clean software alternatives that will do their job just as good. If you already have unwanted adware on your computer, there are programs that have been developed in order to detect, quarantine, and remove them. The most popular ones are: Ad-Adware and Spybot Search & Destroy.

Spyware: It is a computer software that is installed stealthily on your machine to intercept or take partial control over your interaction with the computer, whether you like it or not. They can collect personal information, interfere with your control of the computer, install software, redirect your web browsers, access unwanted websites, or change the computer settings. They are usually installed without you being aware. They do this by coming bundled with other software or by tricking you into installing them some other way. There are many programs that have been developed to remove or to block spyware, as well as various practices which reduce the chance of getting them on your computer. The popular ones are: AVG Anti-Spyware, Ad-Adware SE, PC Tools's Spyware Doctor, but there are several other ones that provide protection against these unwanted programs.

Viruses and Worms: Computer viruses are programs that can infect your computer and copy and modify themselves without you knowing it. They can spread from one machine to another when its host is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on a floppy, CD, USB drive, or on other removable storage devices. Worms can even spread themselves to other computers without needing to be transferred as a part of a host. All these programs can seriously damage your machine by changing important programs or setting, deleting files, formatting your hard drive, or even causing your computer to crash. Some of them seem harmless only displaying a message, but even these can give you a headache, since they might slow your system down, using important computing resources. There are several anti-virus software available for fighting against these malicious programs. The most popular ones are: Norton Anti-Virus, McAfee ViruScan, Avg Anti-Virus.

These malicious software are to be taken seriously. They can cause severe damage to your refurbished laptop. Make sure you use the best available programs to protect your machine against these unwanted intruders.

No comments: