Monday, November 21, 2005

Software, Programs, and Scams

Designed to Steal Your Identity Using Your Computer

Adware: Adware is software that downloads and displays as an offer or advertisement, like a pop-up or pop-under ad. This type of software comes bundled often with 'freeware'. And here’s the catch: When you say ‘yes’ on the freeware license agreement, you’re often saying ‘yes’ to receiving these unwanted, and often virus-carrying ads

Auto Download: The security software subscribed by Computer Associates customers is designed to contact Computer Associates for the latest updates on computer virus threats. These are called Virus Signature File Updates. Computer Associates sends the latest files almost daily, and your computer automatically downloads them.

Hijacking or Hacking: This is when a computer hacker gains access to a PC or network, and then is able to control files, programs or functions remotely to perform various malicious tasks.

Keyloggers: Programs that secretly record your keystrokes, maintain a log of these keyboard and mouse click activities, and then reports this information to unknown parties, from advertisers to malicious hackers. Keyloggers are dangerous because they’re utilized to steal usernames, passwords, PINs and more.

Identity Theft: Usually associated with spyware pests, identity theft involves the covert accessing, gathering and forwarding of sensitive personal and financial user information from a user’s PC to an unknown hacker’s destination.

Malware: Short for malicious software, malware is a catchall term that applies to most kinds of computer threats, such as viruses, worms, spyware, etc.

Phishing: A phishing scam comes to users in the guise of legitimate-looking emails or websites that, once executed, can unleash viruses , worms and other malware threats. Believing they are interacting with authentic Web content, users are then duped into divulging sensitive personal and financial information, such as bank account passwords, credit card numbers and more.

Spyware: Any uninvited program that can covertly gain access to, and take up residence on, a PC or network, and then begin to track and report on user Web activity, such as behavior patterns, Internet destinations, buying habits and more. In the process, spyware discloses sensitive user information to hackers.

Spam: Spam is a form of unsolicited email that can sometimes harbor malware to infect your PC and/or plant covert bypassing tools that allow for unauthorized remote access and/or control by hackers; generally, spam emails and offers are benign in nature, and, in most cases, are simply an unwanted nuisance; the slang term spammers refers to those who mass produce and mass forward spam messages across the Web.

Trojan Horse: Like the myth for which it is named, Trojan horses are effective because users themselves allow or invite what seem to be legitimate files or programs onto their PCs, and usually do so via seemingly innocent downloads. The user's PC now has an entry point for malicious software to intrude, infect and do unknown harm.

Virus: A virus is a malicious program that is usually triggered by the opening or launching of an unfamiliar email attachment or Web link. The virus self-replicates within a PC to corrupt and/or erase files, functions, and applications. It then utilizes the user's own address book to forward replicated copies of itself onto other unsuspecting victims.

Worm: A worm is an Internet threat that can be launched onto PCs via mass email attachments and is designed to seek out and infect various files and applications seemingly in arbitrary fashion. The worm can then forward itself onto other PCs via the infected user's own address book.

Zombies: These are programs that install themselves on machines, and remain dormant until an external event triggers them into action. This could do damage to your PC, steal your personal information and send it to an unauthorized email account, or even open up remote control access to your machine.

Virus Signature File Updates from Computer Associates to Help Protect Your Computer: For each virus that is discovered, Computer Associates creates a "signature" file. This file allows CA software to identify viruses that come in contact with a PC. Since new viruses are emerging constantly, we send our customers "Virus Signature File Updates" almost daily. These updates are downloaded by the PC automatically and keep protection current.

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Behavior Management Expert and Maximizing Your Potential Mentor™ Etienne A. Gibbs is a life-observing author, engaging talk show host, humorous speaker, and successful trainer who teaches small business owners, managers, and employees how to speak, think, and perform in ways that will help them shine. In the end, they maximize their critical thinking, speaking, and management skills.

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