Spyware, Viruses, and Malware – What you may not know.
(Part 2 – How they work and how to locate them.)
Welcome back to my series of articles that pertain to Spyware, Malware, and Viruses and what you may not know about them. In my first article, I gave you and overview and some information on the history of these 3 nasty applications or bots that infect most computers at some time or another. There is a TON of information availible on these subjects on the Internet, so if there is anything more specific that you are curious about or that you didn’t understand from this article you can usually go to http://www.google.com and you can reference it there. In this article, I am going to be discussing what Viruses and Spyware are, and how you locate them on your PC.
The first thing that you have to understand is how these malicious applications get onto your systems. Studies show that the number one way to catch a virus or to obtain Spyware on your system is through P2P (Peer to Peer) file sharing applications like Napster, Limewire, Bit Torrent, and any other program of that variety. You may think you are downloading a harmless MP3 file, or you may think you are getting the latest MPEG for free, but the fact is that over 40% of all files that are transferred through P2P programs are actually viruses or Spyware and key loggers that are camouflaged as the file you are looking for. Remember this ONE rule about the Internet, if you only remember ONE thing from this article, and that is there is NO SUCH THING as FREE on the P2P applications. No matter how perfect or scamless the situation may seem, if it is FREE and on the P2P programs than you can guarantee that there are strings attached. So try to stay as far away from P2P programs and applications as you can, because no matter how hard you try and no matter how much protection your system has, you are bound to override your protection to view a file that you shouldn’t because of infection, and you will sooner or later end up destroying your system.
I’m sure as you are reading this article you are thinking that you are probably secure, and that you have Antivirus and Antispyware software on your system, so none of this applies to you. But remember this, those programs are only good if you do updates to their data files at least once a day, and they can only stop what you tell it to stop. So if you try and access a website that you THINK is safe, and your Antivirus software tries to tell you it is not, and you bypass your antivirus software and access the site anyway, then you may have just let a Trojan or key logger onto your system and your Antivirus software can now do nothing about it. Understand that protection software is only as good as it owner. It also only takes ONE piece of Spyware or Malware to get onto your system to corrupt your Antivirus or Antispyware programs so that they cannot detect future attacks against your system. The first thing a virus or piece of spyware does, is look for the services and applications that run your Antivirus software, and disable them, or even worse, cloak themselves so that your antivirus software thinks everything is running smoothly when in all reality, your system is being destroyed one piece at a time. A lot of viruses and Trojans will disguise themselves as system services and then they become nearly impossible even by a trained professional to remove from your PC without formatting the computer. There are so many different variations of spyware, Trojans, key loggers, malware, and backdoors that can attack your system, that you have to be on the lookout for strange occurrences at ALL times when surfing the Internet.
Your best bet for protection is to follow the steps in my next article and try to stick to the rule of Internet thumb, and that is if you don’t know the website or file your are downloading and cannot verify its integrity, then DON’T go to that site or download that file. It is a very simple rule, but end users seem to forget it a lot, I myself am included in that statement.
So check back later this week for my last installment of, “Spyware and Malware protection and removal and what you MAY not know!”, which will explain how to understand, locate, and eliminate spyware, malware, and viruses.