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Virus


Haz
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Guest name cool

People often use the terms "virus", "worm", "trojan", and other such words imprecisely, incorrectly, and interchangeably. Truth be told, most people just refer to all of them as "viruses", but technically, these are distinct and different things.

A "trojan" is a piece of software written by someone with malicious intent that is designed to find its way onto your computer, by tricking you into downloading it, either by disguising or masquerading itself as a useful file or program, or else by attaching itself to or hiding itself within a helpful or useful file or program. "Trojan" is short for "Trojan Horse", a reference to the Homers account of the Trojan War, in which the Greek army, pretending to be admitting defeat, hid soldiers within a large wooden horse that they presented to the besieged Trojans as a peace offering. Once in the city, the Greeks waited for night and then emerged from the horse, killed the guards, and opened the city gates for the awaiting Greek army. Troy was burned to the ground and the people were slaughtered.

Similarly, once on your computer, the trojan program (still seeming to be useful or else harmless) is secretly doing other things in the background. These can be virus or worm like activities, like trying to spread to other computers, but classically, the trojan is opening up a back door on your computer through which the hacker, or a virus or some other malware, can get into your computer and even take control of your computer. Your computer might then be used as a platform from which the hacker or virus can attack other computers, or your information might be stolen, or your data destroyed. Your computer might even be used as a "zombie" machine to send spam, or participate in denial of service attacks, or other illegal activity. Some trojans simply "phone home" to the hacker who wrote the trojan, and they might be sending that hacker your credit card information, address book, browsing habits, usernames and passwords, or more.

Often, however, the lines between trojans, viruses, and worms are blurred, and the definitions themselves are not concrete. So, you will often hear people confuse or conflate these terms. They are all MALWARE, however. That is, software with malicious intent. YOU DO NOT WANT IT ON YOUR COMPUTER. You can google the exact name to get specific information on that trojan, what it does, and how it might have gotten on your machine. Your security should be considered compromised until it is removed and your computer is verified to be clean. Do not do banking and avoid entering any sensative information or visiting credit card websites or any site that contains credit information and/or requires a login. You may even want to change your passwords after you get rid of it, just to be on the safe side.

The best defense against any and all malware is the following:

1) Have a solid door. |

ALWAYS keep your computer up to day with ALL the latest high priority Windows updates from the Windows Update website. Your computer should be set to download and install these automatically. Always. Immediately. This is the biggest thing you can do. Same, too, with all your programs. Keep them up to date.

2) Lock your door and close your windows. |

Make sure your computer is properly configured. You should have a firewall active and properly set up to protect you from intruders. Even if you're behind a router, although if you're behind a router make sure it is set up to protect you as well (encryption enabled, ports closed, password protected, etc).

3) Lock your door, always, and don't leave your key under the mat, and don't invite strangers into your house. |

Practice safe web surfing habits. Do not visit shady websites such as porn and gambling sites, warez sites, etc. Do not download and install software you are not SURE is safe. Only download anything from reputable sites and VERIFY you have entered the correct URL and are actually at the site you think you're at. Do not open email attachments, do not even open email messages that appear suspicious or contain suspicious links. Do not click suspicious links on Facebook, Twitter, AIM or in other such places (links like "hey, I found this picture of you" or "hey check this out"... make sure it's legitimate by contacting the sender before you click things that look odd). Use GOOD passwords (Google "what is a strong password" and find some guidelines). Never send sensitive information in the open (like emailing your credit card number to someone) or accept incoming connections if you don't know what they are.

4) Have a good alarm, a guard dog, a safe, and neighbors who look out for you. |

Run a GOOD antivirus. A free one such as Malware Bytes, Microsoft Security Essentials, or Avast is better than nothing, but not better than GOOD. Pay for your protection if you really want to be safe. Norton 2010, Nod 32, and Kaspersky are all good choices. Make sure you keep them enabled and UP TO DATE all the

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M' Anti-M Free use. XP SP 3

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