July 16, 2024


Forever Driven Computer

Adware, Spyware, Malware and Viruses – What Are They?

Adware, Spyware, Malware and Viruses – What Are They?

For the average person who only uses their computer to email, conduct basic internet searches, buy the occasional item on Ebay, the terms Adware, Spyware and Malware mean very little. But these are precisely the people who should know what these things are and how they can protect themselves from them.


Adware is used to describe ads and pop-ups that make their way onto your PC without invitation. They are basically harmless, even though they may be annoying. They are a bit like the old junk mail that tends to fill our letterboxes. Although it is a bit of a pain having to clear it out of your box, walk to the recycling bin and dispose of it, it is harmless!

In fact, some of the programs we frequently use have this feature in built. They include Spotify, Windows live messenger, Yahoo messenger, Ask toolbar just to name a few.


Spyware is exactly as the title suggests – a way to spy! Spyware gives a way for individuals and companies to spy on the contents of you hard drive. These people can see what you have been looking at on the internet (which some companies only use for market research). Others have more sinister agendas in mind, such as accessing your bank and financial details.


Malware – short for malicious software! There’s your answer. It is any form of spyware with the intent to harm. The classic example of this is a virus. A virus is deliberately passed on to your computer with the intent to destroy some or all parts of your operating system.

Now that I know – what do I do?

There are many programs available to help you detect and protect your computer from adware, spyware and malware. Some are free and some you need to buy. Unfortunately, this is something you need to continually upgrade, as hackers are constantly adapting their software and viruses to get around the latest security programs.