Most often we link adware, spyware and malware in our minds, although each represents a unique purpose. Adware, for example, is essentially a program designed to produce advertisements on your computer. Rather than finding advertisements when you are searching the web, an adware program runs from your computer and thus oftentimes doesn’t even require you to be online to start popping up ads at you.
Spyware, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily generate ads on your machine. Its basic purpose is to track the usage of your computer, most commonly online. This data is then sent back to the company which first installed the spyware on your machine in the first place. Tracking cookies also have a similar purpose to spyware. While adware, spyware are not necessarily designed with specifically malicious intent, they can often damage your computer’s proper operation by eating up too many system resources and too much bandwidth, thus making it difficult for you to operate your computer normally.
Malware is of course the most malicious of these three types of software (it is short for malicious software, if you didn’t know). These are the worms, viruses, trojans, etc. which are designed specifically to harm and disrupt your computer. While the threat of each is different, together adware, spyware and malware form the triumvirate of evil software which can infect your computer.
Another common problem in the world of Internet usage today is that of e-mail spam. Everyone knows what it is like to open up your e-mail inbox and see 150 messages waiting for you, all of them spam. While antispam systems have become more sophisticated over the years, so have the spammers. It is a continuing battle for control over your inbox.
Many people decide to take on the problems of spam, adware, spyware and malware with a single antispam antivirus program. This can often be very helpful since it allows you to tackle a number of different threats with a single easy-to-use program. Many antivirus programs on the market these days in fact include antispam functionality.
When choosing an antivirus program for your computer there are a few things you should look at. One is the size of the program and how much it takes up in the way of resources. A program that is too bulky can also damage the use of your computer, making it more difficult for you to run programs and surf the Internet. You will also want to see how good it is at detection. While any antivirus program can remove any virus, it has to be able to detect the virus first. With new adware, spyware and malware programs being created every day you need a program that can keep up the pace and provide constant protection for your computer.