This week: Viruses, Adware, and PUP’s
The programs that attack your PC are classified as two different types; the ones called Trojans, worms, and key loggers Ransomware, are viruses. The type that pop up on your PC and infect your browsers are Adware or PUP’s--Potentially Unwanted Programs. These are all lumped together as Malware, or Malicious Software.
I separate them differently: Viruses are programs that are put on your PC without your knowledge, while Adware are like vampires, and you invite them in on your PC. Many viruses are installed on your PC from the Web; even mostly secure and popular sites can have drive-by attacks where the hackers get onto the website, install their virus, and even if the site owner finds it quickly, many machines can be infected in a short time. These are hard to fight; they are hidden plain sight, they attach themselves to a picture or text on the website, and then execute themselves on your machine, and you or the website owner are none the wiser. Your antivirus program cannot find and fix it because it is hidden within legitimate code. The antivirus program can only remove it after it is active on your machine.
Adware gets on your machine from email scams, from downloading an app that sounds good, and maybe a useful app, but if it is free, the way the programmer gets paid is by charging other app programmers access to your machine for their apps when you install the app. Some app makers will stop the install and ask you if you want to install other apps; most often they do not and just install apps that you did not want on your PC.
These are PUP’s; they may be good programs, but if you did not want them and you do not know what they do, or where they came from and if they are safe, they are unwanted programs. These are the ones that pop up or take over your browsers and just make themselves obnoxious and can leave your machine open to other PUP’s.
One of the worst is “Weather Bug,” a very good and useful desktop app, but if you just install it without reading every page and uncheck all the “Sponsors” offers, you can end up with several PUP’s.
Do not click on links of undetermined destination and uncheck offers you don’t want. Or if there is an option to purchase the app, buy it and do away with all ads and offers.
‘til next week
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to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:
Current back to 2012
older ones were deleted because the computer industry has changed
immensely in the past several years.
January 8, 2014 Moving AGAIN
December 18, 2013 Viruses
December 11, 2013 Windows 8.1 - Part 2
December 4, 2013 Windows 8.1 - Part 1
November 27, 2013 Internet Explorer 11
November 20, 2013 How To Remove Virus Part 2
November 13, 2013 How To Remove Virus Part 1
November 6, 2013 Cryto Locker Virus
October 30, 2013 Power Supplies and Power Strips
October 23, 2013 Hacked! My E-mail was HACKED!
October 16, 2013 View Home Page As You Like It Part 2
October 9, 2013 View Home Page As You Like It
October 2, 2013 PUPs Cause Slow Browsing
September 25, 2013 Smart Phones
September 18, 2013 Bits, Bytes, Kilo, Mega and Giga
September 11, 2013 ScamAGAIN - RansomWare and Remote Control
September 4, 2013 ScamAGAIN - Get "Dummy" Credit Card
August 28, 2013 Backing Up Your PC-Part 2
August 21, 2013 Backing Up Your PC-Part 1
August 14, 2013 Troubleshooting Internet Connections
August 7, 2013 Cooling Fans and Temperature
July 31, 2013 Windows 8.1 Part 2
July 24, 2013 Windows 8.1 Part 1
July 17, 2013 Windows XP Expires April, 2014
July 10, 2013 PC Won't Boot AND Toolbars
July 3, 2013 Helpful Hints - 2nd Users on Your PC
June 26, 2013 PC SCAM - Part 2
June 19, 2013 PC Money SCAM-READ THIS
June 12, 2013 CAUTION New Viruses AND Trojans
June 5, 2013 WIFI vs Cable
May 29, 2013 On-Line Help-BEWARE
May 22, 2013 Faxing With Multi-Function Printers
May 15, 2013 Scanners and Software
May 8, 2013 Battery Replacement May Be Necessary
May 1, 2013 Zombies Search Your Personal Info
April 24, 2013 Java and Adobe Updates NOT to be Ignored
April 17, 2013 Passwords And Email
April 10, 2013 Spring Cleaning-The Inside
April 3, 2013 Spring Cleaning for Your PC
March 27, 2013 Microsoft WORKS Great Substitute for Office
March 20, 2013 Windows 8 UPDATE
March 13, 2013 Helpful Equipment
March 6, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013 Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2