Questions we are asked as Geeks – by SuperGeek Ken

As a Geek I get asked many questions but here is a rundown of the most common questions that I get asked:

What is a Virus?

A Virus is a man made Program that is able to infect a program or a file on your computer. Each time the program or the files are run it triggers the virus to run it then is able to infect other programs and files that are on your computer.

What is a Worm?

A Worm is a program that will (given the chance) replicate itself. Unlike a virus it will not infect other program files on the computer instead it will spread itself like a worm through dirt to other systems via email or networks or even chat programs.

How do I get infected?

Viruses and worms can infect you many ways the most common is email and downloaded files they can also be hidden on website and downloaded from a hijacked website.

Loadable media is also a common way to be infected such as a USB drive being used at school getting infected then brought home to infect the home computer.

What is a Rootkit?

A Rootkit is not destructive by its nature but is used to hide and conceal the presence of other malicious programs that are on your HDD.  Rootkit’s are there for one reason that is to allow intruders to take control of your machine by stealth also being undetected by your machines defenses. An intruder can easily use it to extract Data from your computer as well as using it to stop services and launch a spam attack against other computers or networks.

What is a Web Bug?

A web bug is an image file as small as 1×1 pixel concealed on a web page or and email with

html.  A bug informs a spammer that an email has been opened also what adverts and web pages we have looked at and visited. These bugs are very useful to hackers as they can send details of IP addresses of the readers of the email to the spammer.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is now the number one security risk on the internet today; reports suggest that 90% of computers have been already infiltrated by spyware. Spyware is software that gets installed on your computer such as toolbars and free add-ons. This software is then used to gather information about your computer habits it then transmits this Data to a 3rd party.

There are a couple of different types of spyware such as advertising spyware (adware) and monitoring spyware. We get infected by downloading from Limewire, Emule and many other peer 2 peer networks there is also the drive by infection that simply infects you as you visit a website without you knowing. It can take sensitive information and (bank details, credit card details passwords) pass this on to the 3rd parties.

More and More companies are using spyware to gather habits and trends so they can market to you direct.

I hope this explains a little of the day to day battle we as web users face it also highlights the importance of getting a paid professional to clean out your computer every 3 months or every 6 months at the very least.

Ken Cropp

SuperGeek Southport/Helensvale