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Internet for Beginners

For new users of the internet and anyone looking for tips and suggestions.

Computer Viruses and Malware

A computer virus is any computer program that install themselves onto your computer and change the computer code or programs there. Viruses might also be known as malicious software (malware) or malicious code (malcode). It is code or software that is specifically designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other “bad” or illegitimate action on data, hosts or networks.

There are different kinds of viruses that do slightly different things:

  • Viruses infect other files
  • Worms make copies of themselves
  • Trojans perform malicious actions but do not spread
  • Malware is an all-encompassing term that describes any malicious software program or file operating without the users explicit consent.

(list from "What is a Virus" on about.com)

Watch the video below to learn more about computer viruses and malware. 

Scareware: False Security Warnings

Scareware is a false security warning used by cybercriminals. These offical-looking notices warn you that your computer has a virus and claim you need to click on a link to fix it. Scareware shows up in advertisements for anitvirus software.

Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus Software protects computers from infected emails and corrupt websites. Anti-virus software should contain three components: 

  • Antivirus - specifically protects against viruses.
  • Anti-spyware - protects against malicious software gathering your information without your knowledge. 
  • Firewall - screens out threats that try to reach your computer over the internet.