What is a Computer Virus?
A computer virus is so called because its modus operandii of infecting computers is analagous to a biological virus infecting animals. A computer virus is a program that that transmits itself from computer to computer via email or buy attaching itself to executable files. Some viruses are very destructive, causing irreperable damage to software and occasionally hardware. For companies that rely heavily on technology, its important to have business security that can protect both them and their customers. However, the most destructive viruses are less infectious, as computers which no longer work are not able to transmit them. Thus the majority of viruses are just an irritation, displaying messages or slowing down the operation of your machine.
What different types of virus are there?
Viruses can be grouped into a number different categories, depending on how they work. Broadly speaking, these categories include:
More information on viruses and the latest security threats can be found on the Symantec web site.
What is Spyware ?
Spyware is a type of malware that can take partial control of the user's computer for the benefit of a third party. It's operations can include:
Spyware can be installed on a computer if you visit a site that takes advantage of security holes in Internet Explorer. Alternatively, spyware is bundled along with free software that can be downloaded. It is important here to also mention the term "Adware". Adware is a type of spyware that displays advertisements targetted at the surfer. Adware is not always installed without the user's consent. For example, it may be installed as part of a free software package to avoid having to pay registration fees.
For more details on Spyware, visit Microsoft.