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The field of computer and Internet security has grown into a very complicated and large enterprise

information on malware and non-malware threats...

Some thoughts on the subject

I have often heard ”I don’t need a password. It’s just me on the computer.”

Reality check: it is NOT JUST YOU!

When anyone turns on their computer and goes out on the internet highway; they have company.

Riding along, unseen, are a host of entities...agents of real people, in the form of bits of computer code, tracking cookies, key-loggers, crypto-lockers, viruses and trojans.

I wish it were as easy as just ignoring the facts. The truth is we are all very exposed when we browse the internet. And it’s not just the questionable websites where your computer can get infected. My campaign is to educate customers about the real threats that exist out in the WILD world web.

I recommend products and actions to take that can protect them and save their personal data, identity and documents.

Unfortunately, computing these days has gotten more complicated by threats from criminal types who are waiting in the tall grass of shopping sites, gaming download centers and other places that seem innocent.

Just doing a search on Google for something as innocuous as Acrobat Reader, is getting more dangerous as the days go by. Often, you will find many sites that are infested with junk marketing ploys that are not related to your search at all. Going there will land you in the middle of an ant-hill of junk downloads and other garbage, not related to thing you thought you were downloading. You have to read very carefully what you are about to click on. It could be a carefully crafted trap.

Whether you believe it or not, sooner or later you could likely be hit by a virus or a trojan, that could seriously impact your finances, data security or prized photo or music collection. UNLESS you take action to protect yourself and your computer with available anti-virus soft ware.In doing so, don’t settle for the free versions.

Free software, is often worth just what you pay for it. Isn’t your security worth paying a few bucks for?

...oh yeah, and put a password on your computer.


• Wikipedia definition:

Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Malware is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains, without consent.

Malware Types

• Data-stealing

– User credentials

– Credit card numbers

– Transferring funds

– Confidential information

• Remote access

–allows a remote operator to access and control computer

• Profit-based

– Ransom/extortion

– Fake computer support


– Virus: infects computer operating system to perform some action

– Trojan: same as virus, but can regenerate itself and propagates to computers nearby

– Bot: short for internet robot, code that autonomously performs some action

Non-Malware Threats

– PUP-Potentially Unwanted Program: A program downloaded, usually along with another program that was actually the desired program, which does something to the computer the user was not intending.

– PUM-Potentially Unwanted Modification: A modification of some setting on the computer that was not wanted or intended and that has results that are often surprising or disabling in some way. This is the source of changes to the start page in an internet browser, as an example.

Anti-virus search engines and the databases they use, do not always include searches for PUP’s and PUM’s. Thus, these two items are not classified as Malware; but have the potential of being very disruptive to computer users because of the hidden modifications and presence of software that is now on the computer without consent.