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Spyware and computer virus terms (1/2)
This guide is part one of a two part glossary designed to help you understand what our computer repair technicians are talking about when they report to you that you have a particular type of virus or spyware.
Software designed to add advertisements to websites you view. Some times these viruses run programs to generate random advertisements within your operating system.
A virus that damages the master boot record of a hard drive. These viruses can be recognised by the fact that they computer will not boot. If you have a boot virus it is best to get an expert to repair your computer. DIY attempts may result in data loss requiring expert data recovery services. In extreme cases data recovery may no longer be an option.
A network of computers that have been hijacked by a computer virus. The virus uses the hijacked computers to break into or damage a target computer system. Indications of your computer being hijacked by a Botnet include decreased performance and random network activity. To remove a computer from a Botnet you must remove the virus infecting the computer.
A piece of hardware or software designed to keep nasty and dangerous software out of your computer and/or network. See our page on firewalls.
Heuristic virus scanner
A type of virus scanner that reads the code signatures in a program and determines if the code is dangerous. Heuristic scanners should be used with care as they remove legitimate programs as well as removing viruses.
Macro virus / script virus
Macro viruses use scripting languages built into software programs or operating systems to maliciously damage computers. Macro viruses usually spread via email and a are typically stored within legitimate documents. Removal of macro viruses can typically be done while preserving the original documents.
The general word used to refer to programs that perform undesired actions under a cloak. Consult with your computer repair technician to determine if the malware on your computer is dangerous.
On-demand virus scanner
An on demand virus scanner will read through files as requested. Our computer repair technicians recommend at the absolute least running an on-demand scan once a week. Compare with real time scanner. As above, the intent of most virus scanners is to remove viruses not simply detect them.
Real time scanner
A type of virus scanner that scans files and programs and files as they are opened. Compare with an on demand virus canner. Note the intent of most virus scanners is to remove viruses not simply detect them.
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