We all have heard the terms Virus, Worms, Trojans and Spyware. But only a few of us know the difference between them. We generally consider everything that is detected by an antivirus as a virus. However, this is not the case. The antivirus not only provides protection against viruses, but it also protects us from Trojans, worms and spyware. All these can be harmful to your computer hardware and software. Today I will differentiate all these terms from each other.
OK, let’s start from the introduction of viruses, the most common word.
A virus is a self-replicating program that attaches itself to an executable file. When the file is executed, the virus automatically gets executed and enters into system memory. Once it enters into system memory, it either searches for other files that can be infected or stays in the background. On top of that, it infects the files that are uses the virus infected program.
Worms are very similar to viruses. But differ in the way that they do not bind themselves to executable files, instead to replicate themselves they use the network. If you find excessive use of your network bandwidth, then you may be infected by a worm. So, a worm does not require a user to execute any file for its execution it can work without user intervention.
A Trojan horse is a harmful program which may seem harmless to the user before its installation. But instead it is programmed, or reverse engineered, to facilitate unauthorised remote access to the computer. Trojan’s do not replicate themselves.
A spyware is a program that secretly monitor and collects pieces of information. They usually run in stealth mode and cannot be detected easily. Keyloggers are a great example of spyware software. These are not limited to just spying, but can also send data to remote computers.
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