Antivirus

The Difference Between a Virus, Malware, and Spyware

Joe Schwartz

Antivirus Editor

Computer threats can come in several forms and protecting your devices against these harmful threats is absolutely necessary. A quality antivirus usually provides a suite of tools to ensure your computer is safe, no matter what.

The 3 major threats, as discussed below, are viruses, malware, and spyware.

A virus becomes active when a user launches an infected program or if an infected disk is used to boot the system. Viruses are able to maintain a low profile and, often, by the time they are noticed, they will have infected numerous programs in the system. Online thieves and hackers who write viruses can damage your files by corrupting, deleting, or stealing data in your computer.

Malware is a collective term used to describe malicious software that when present in a computer causes damage in the software. These include worms, viruses, spyware, dropper, and adware.

Spyware, as is apparent from its name, is able to spy on ones’ data. Through spyware, malicious individuals may even steal your personal information such as passwords and bank details. It can track your activities both on desktop and mobile.

How does this malicious software enter your computer?

Viruses can gain access to your computer/mobile phone by attaching themselves to media files or any applications you download online. Spyware, on the other hand, can enter your computer conspicuously, without you having even downloaded anything.

What protection you need

It should be no surprise then, that to protect from these malicious threats, it is imperative to invest in a quality antivirus. Antiviruses like McAfee, Norton, and Bitdefender, will not only protect your computer, they will also perform automatic scans to ensure that your computer is always protected. These software providers provide protection for Macs and PCs, as well as Android and iPhone smartphones. Furthermore, a good antivirus product will not only protect your devices, it will also optimize performance.

These Antivirus providers are able to provide:

• Safe and secure online browsing

• Social media security, protecting your data and profiles

• Email protection

• Backup for your files

• Identity protection from identity thieves

• Virus removal and cleanup

• An effective firewall that blocks viruses, malware or spyware

• Improved computer performance

Protection against such threats is vital since once they begin to spread it may not be easy to control and eradicate them. To learn more about the top antivirus software and to read our updated reviews, check out the link below.

Top 5

1
McAfee
Cutting edge technology, two way firewall, lightweight and non-intrusive, completely customizable, great price
2
Norton Antivirus
High level customization, includes low-source scans, great removal rates
3
BullGuard
Easy to use, free backup service, 60 day free trial, 40% discount, tiny performance impact
4
Trend Micro
Excellent malware blocking score, behavior-based intelligent technologies, easy to use
5
Bitdefender
Efficient centralized control, easy to use, AutoPilot feature, 24/7 support, free trials

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