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What are the different types of Viruses, Spyware and Malware that can infect my computer?

Summary: This article provides information about different types of Viruses, Spyware and Malware that can infect your Dell computer?

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Article Content


This article provides information about the different types of Viruses, Spyware, and Malware that can infect your computer.

Table of Contents:

  1. Different Virus Expressions
  2. How Can a Computer Be Protected from Viruses?

1. Different Virus Expressions


A computer virus is a piece of software that can 'infect' a computer, install itself and copy itself to other computers, without the users knowledge or permission. It usually attaches itself to other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of a Hard drive.


Malware is short for malicious software. Malware is the name that is given to any type of software that could harm a computer system, interfere with and gather a user's data, or make the computer perform actions without the owner's knowledge or permission.

Trojan horse

A type of malware that uses malicious code to install software that seems ok, but is hidden to create back doors into a system. This typically causes loss or theft of data from an external source.


Unlike a virus, a worm, is a standalone piece of malicious software that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. It often uses a computer network to spread itself, relying on security flaws on the target system to allow access.


Spyware is software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. Spyware can monitor and log the activity that is performed on a target system, like log key strokes, or gather credit card and other information.


Adware is software which can automatically cause pop-up and banner adverts to be displayed in order to generate revenue for its author or publisher. A lot of freeware uses Adware but not always in a malicious way. If it was malicious, it would then be classed as spyware or malware.

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2. How Can a Computer Be Protected from Viruses?

  • Install an anti-virus program and keep it up-to-date and regularly run scans.
  • Install an anti-malware program to stop software installing without your knowledge.
  • Never download and install software from the Internet unless you are certain it is from a trusted source.
  • Do not open email attachments unless you have scanned them first, even a picture can carry a virus.
  • Do not trust cracked or hacked software as they often contain malware, Trojans.

For more information please refer to this article - Protect your computer or remove virus, spyware or other malware in Microsoft Windows

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Refer to Symptoms section.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

15 Feb 2024



Article Type