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If you use a computer, read the newspaper, or watch the news, you probably know about computer viruses or other malware. These are malicious programs that once they infect your machine they wreak havoc on your computer. What many people do not know is that there are many different types of infections that are categorized in the general category of malware which is generally known as programming or files that are developed for the purpose of doing harm.

Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, hijackers, and malicious adware. Here’s a guide to the enemy:

Adware - A program that generates pop-ups on your computer or displays advertisements for revenue. Not considered malware unless it interferes with computer operation.

Backdoor - A program that allows a remote user to execute commands and tasks on your computer without your permission. These types of programs are typically used to launch subversive attacks on or hack other computers.

Hijackers - A program that attempts to hijack certain Internet functions like redirecting your start page to the hijacker's own start page, redirecting search queries to a undesired search engine, or replace search results from popular search engines with their own information.

Spyware- A program that monitors activity or information on your computer and sends that information to a remote computer without your knowledge for malicious use.

Trojan- A program that has been designed to appear innocent but has been intentionally designed to provide a backdoor to your system which is most likely malicious in nature.

Virus - A program with the ability to self-replicate by infecting other programs and files on your computer. These programs are self-replicating, and have the potential to wipe your hard drive, or less maliciously, display a joke that someone finds funny. These types of infections typically do not spread to another computer on their own.

Worm- A program that when run, has the ability to spread to other computers on its own using either mass-mailing techniques to email addresses found on your computer or by using the Internet to infect a remote computer using known security holes.

Professional help such as the virus removal services provided by Tech Brainy Consulting in the Carlsbad area can ease infection removal and recovery from your PC and/or laptop.

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