The Difference of Adware, Spyware and a Virus
Adware, spyware and computer viruses share some similarities, one of which is that all three are major nuisances for computer users. Let's differentiate the three.
Spyware is software that does not intentionally harm your computer. What they do is to create ways for someone else than the owner to communicate with the computer.
Normally spyware record the various types of web sites you visit which are later used by web advertisers to allow them to send you unwanted emails and pop-ups.
This is why spyware are usually frowned upon and greatly avoided. They are more intrusive than adware.
Spyware have their own separate executable programs which allow them to record your keystrokes, scan files on your hard disks and look at other applications that you use including but not limited to chat programs, cookies and Web browser settings.
The spyware will send the information that it had gathered to the spyware author. The agent will then use this information for advertising and marketing purposes. They even sell the information to advertisers and other parties.
Adware, on the other hand, are more legitimate form of freeware. Similar to spyware, adware are advertising material which are packaged into a program or software and are installed automatically once that particular program or software is added into the computer system.
Some Adware, on the other hand, download advertising contents when a particular application is being utilized. It is quite unfortunate that most of the adware programs take the form of spyware – tracking and report user information to program authors.
Signs of spyware infections include pop-up ads that are not related to the site you are viewing. More often than not, spyware pop-ups are advertisements about adult content.
If you notice your computer slowing down, there's a big chance that spyware and its other components have found their way into your operating system. When Windows takes longer to load, it is best to scan your computer for possible spyware infections.
Meanwhile, viruses are a destructive form of software. They were purely designed and created for one purpose alone: to wreck havoc to your computer.
They destroy whatever they come in contact with, will initiate self replication and infect as many components of the computer's operating system or network as possible.
Nowadays, a lot of anti-virus software also provides spyware, adware scanning and removal utilities. Some programs, however, are focused on located and deleting or destroying spyware and adware programs.
Whether it is anti-virus software or an anti-spyware dedicated scanner, they both search your computer and identify any spyware or virus installed on your system.
They then remove it as well as their components located in the system registry among other places in your computer.
It is therefore, good to regularly update your virus or spyware scanner to ensure that your computer is protected from the thousands of spyware and viruses on the internet. Never be fooled from ads that claim that their products only contain adware.
Adware maybe spyware in disguise just waiting to be deployed and to gather information. Setup firewall systems and always block pop-ups to minimize computer infection and ensure the security of your computer.
- How Spyware Works? - spyghana.com
- Font apps on Google Play deliver spyware - Help Net Security - Help Net Security
- Spyware used by governments poses as Firefox, and Mozilla is angry - Ars Technica
- New MAC OS X Spyware Discovered at the Freedom Forum - iOS Doc - iOS Doc
- Labor's Toxic Exposure Website Serves Up Spyware to Energy's Nuclear Workers - Nextgov