We know that malicious software is software that we don’t want and do not intend to install on our computers. We also know that viruses, worms, and root kits are examples of malicious software. You’re aware that malicious software can come from infected websites, email, data storage devices, networks, etc. We’ve discussed how to avoid malicious software, but we’ve not yet reviewed the reasons why malicious software is produced. If we think a slow-running computer is the primary risk from malicious software, we don’t fully comprehend the risk.

It is estimated that malicious software costs businesses and individuals billions of dollars each year. From identity theft, to false advertising, to espionage, and through many other ways, money is illegally obtained using malicious software. Most malicious software avoids detection and actively defends against removal, making it much harder to eliminate than to avoid. It often injects itself into good files, corrupts them, and frequently reproduces itself to avoid removal.

We often assume that if we don’t presently find evidence of malicious software, we don’t have malicious software .Not necessarily so! It is quite possible for a crooked programmer to create computer code that sits idle on a computer until the software is later activated.

Knowing Why Malicious Software Is Created Helps To Understand The Risks:

  1. Data Theft – Examples include key loggers who convey to others our key strokes (including account numbers and passwords) and those who search for our valuable information.
  2. Remote Control Malicious software can be designed to hijack computers in order to extend the computing power and internet bandwidth of the bad guys. Yes, you could unknowingly participate in causing harm to others!
  3. Money – You’ve heard the adage: “Follow the money.” From selling useless software to selling stolen information, criminals utilize malicious software to tap into the vast (and often far too trusting) market.
  4. Notoriety – Such computer programers are akin to vandals who spray paint bridges and buildings…just because they can.

Most viruses are not simply pranks. In reality, they are often much, much worse.

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