Many of us have used the term adware, spyware and malware interchangeably but what really is the difference between these terms. In this post I will differentiate the meanings of the adware, spyware and malware for us to have a good understanding of finding a solution to our computer related problems.
What Is an Adware?
Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are showed when the program is running. The authors of these applications include additional code that delivers the ads, which can be viewed through pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen. The justification for adware is that it helps recover programming development cost and helps to hold down the cost for the user. Most of the time adwares are being displayed with the proper consent of the user..
What is Spyware?
Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user’s personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.
Although spyware technically falls into the category of adware (advertising supported software) it differs because of key factors. Spyware can be used correctly, as pc surveillance software for example: by parents, to see what there computers are being used for by their children. This is a positive side of spyware.
However, Spyware can be used by companies to spy on you without you realising. A lot of it can come from downloading and installing freeware programs or software downloaded from shareware and p2p sites. This sort of unwittingly installed software is known as trojan horses. In itself, spyware from more reputable companies, does not infect or harm your computer but is used for marketing, to better see your surfing habits and thus present you with highly targeted ads.
On a darker side however, spyware can also be used to track and record person information such as bank details. Redirect web browser activity to designated ad sites, change computer settings and preferences, change homepages, slow down internet and pc performance, cause multiple unsolicited pop-up advertisements and so much more.
What Is Malware?
Malware is a short term for malicious software. It is designed to penetrate a computer system without the owner’s informed awareness. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term “computer virus” is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses.
Software is considered malware based on the perceived intention of the creator rather than any particular features. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, for instance in the legal codes of several U. S. states, including California and West Virginia
In conclusion, adware is basically safe and is done on users content, however when softwares or scripts started to get information from your pc without you knowledge then it becomes a spyware and malware. I hope you have gained an basic understanding of the different between an adware, spyware and malware.
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