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Basic Defintions

Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while the program is running. The authors of these applications include additional code that delivers the ads, which can be viewed through pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen. The justification for adware is that it helps recover programming development cost and helps to hold down the cost for the user.

A personal firewall (sometimes called a desktop firewall) is a software application used to protect a single Internet-connected computer from intruders. Personal firewall protection is especially useful for users with "always-on" connections such as DSL or Cable Modem. Such connections use a static IP address that makes them especially vulnerable to potential hackers.

Often compared to anti-virus applications, personal firewalls work in the background at the device (link layer) level to protect the integrity of the system from malicious computer code by controlling Internet connections to and from a user's computer, filtering inbound and outbound traffic, and alerting the user to attempted intrusions.

Some people who have more that 1 PC may have a Router to connect the PC's together which also acts as a excellent Hardware Firewall if these PC's share the internet connection. This works in the same way as the personal firewall (desktop firewall), however the firewall is inside the router and not installed on the PC. A firewall ina router is classed as a 'Hardware' firewall rather than a 'Software' firewall (installed firewall application on a PC).

In essance the PC's that connect to the router will have different IP adresses making it harder for 'hackers' to identify the address of a PC on that network, they will only be seeing the IP address of the router as it is between the PC's and the modem, although all firewall's have the ability of stealthing their internet IP address from potential hackers and internet port scanners.

Spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet (where it is sometimes called a spybot or tracking software), spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties.

Trojans are malicious programs often used by hackers to attack target computers, usually to provide a backdoor into the system but sometimes just to cause destruction. Remote Access Trojans (RATs) are the most famous class of trojans and they usually come in two parts - a server that is sent to infect the victim, and a client that the hacker uses to connect to the server after the victim is infected. There are many ways that hackers can use to infect a target with a trojan, and careful security measures aren't always enough - a strong anti-trojan program can easily detect tens of thousands of trojans that would otherwise be near-impossible for a human to find.

A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are manmade. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.

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