What are Viruses, Worms, and Trojans?

Viruses and worms. Just the words are enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies. Yet they surround us daily, lurking about, lying in wait for the opportunity to infect unprotected computers.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between viruses and worms. A computer virus is a type of code that attaches itself to a program. Viruses can be transmitted through email via infected attachments and web links, as well as through CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and documents. A virus will not activate or spread until the user initiates, or opens, the infected file. There are many types of computer viruses that range in severity from mildly annoying to disastrous. Viruses typically corrupt and/or disrupt the smooth operation of the computer’s files or programs. Serious viruses can completely delete files or crash an entire operating system. Computers equipped with a highly regarded anti-virus program are less vulnerable than unprotected computers, since the anti-virus will flag and block the infected program and alert the user to its presence.

A worm is a program that self-replicates and sends itself to other computers within a network without the users’ interaction, consent, or knowledge. Unlike viruses, worms do not have to attach themselves to programs. Whereas viruses attack a single computer, worms attack the network of computers that it has infected. Worms are usually successful at slowing down a network. Some worms make it easier for spam to penetrate a computer network, as well.

A Trojan Horse, or Trojan for short, is a form of malware that gives hackers remote access to a computer. Trojans are often cleverly disguised as innocuous or even advantageous programs that users think they want or need. Trojans are generally transmitted through software downloads; email attachments; and faulty web applications that have been compromised, such as instant messaging, web browsers, and media players. Unlike viruses, Trojans are delivered via a special file for that specific purpose. Additionally, Trojans do not self-replicate like worms.

To protect your computer from viruses, worms, and Trojans, ChicaLogic recommends the state-of-the-art malware protection offered by Malwarebytes. Download a free version of malware protection and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Protection against viruses and other malicious software
  • Quarantine to hold threats and delete/restore them at your convenience
  • Light-speed quick scanning
  • Regular updates for ongoing threat protection
  • High rate of virus detection
  • and much more!

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