Vulnerability Management

What is malware, 

viruses, spyware 

and cookies?

What is Malware?

Malware is short for “malicious software” and is used as a single term to refer to a virus, spyware, worm, etc. Malware is designed to cause damage to a stand-alone computer or a networked PC. Wherever a malware term is used it means a program which is designed to damage your computer and it could refer to either a virus, worm, or Trojan Horse. 

What is a Computer Virus?

A Computer Virus is a program written to enter your computer and damage or alter your files and data. A virus could corrupt or delete data on your computer. Viruses can also replicate themselves. A Computer Virus is more dangerous than a computer worm as it makes changes or deletes your files while worms only replicate themselves without making changes to your files and data. Viruses can enter to your computer as an attachment of images or as audio or video files. Viruses also enter through downloads on the internet. They can be hidden in free-trial software or other files that you download. It is wise not to download anything that you aren’t sure who the real sender is. Almost all viruses are attached to an executable file, which means the virus may exist on your computer, but it cannot infect your computer unless you run or open the malicious program. It is important to note that a virus cannot be spread without a human action or social engineering, such as running an infected program to keep it going. 

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a type of program that is installed with—or without—your permission on your personal computers to collect information about users; their computer or browsing habits; and tracks each and every thing you do on your computer without your knowledge with the capability to send that information to a remote user. It can also download other malicious programs from the internet and install them on your computer. Spyware works like adware but is usually a separate program that is installed unknowingly when you install another freeware type program or application. 

What is a Cookie?

A Tracking Cookie is a plain text file that is stored on your computer in the cookies folder and stores data about your browsing session. Cookies are used by many websites to track visitor information. A Tracking Cookie is a cookie which keeps track of all your browsing information and can be used by hackers and companies to know all your personal details like bank account details, your credit card information etc. which is dangerous.