English Vocabulary for Computers

Vocabulary for Computer Protection

Antivirus software was initially developed to clean computer systems and data media from infectious software. The central task of detecting and removing viruses has remained a major function of virus defense software. As hardware and software technologies have developed the functions and requirements of antivirus software as also expanded. Most anti-virus software also includes protection from malware, spyware, pop-ups and dialers.

Adware is typically designed to interact with web browsers to display banner ads or pop-ups when a computer is in use. Adware disrupts users and can interrupt the Internet connection and system operations.

Backdoor is used to describe an application that permits remote access to an infected computer. Backdoors generally embed themselves in the operating system and opens up a port to circumvent other security mechanisms. Backdoors can also spread via e-mail or by riding piggyback on other malware or are included in shareware or freeware. Once infected, the computer responds to programs by executing various processes. Backdoors are often one component in a series of malware types that set up controlled computer networks.

Dialers are dialing programs used to dial up a preset pay-per-call sites. The user is then liable for the overpriced long distance and access fees.

Grayware opens vulnerabilities and some applications have been misused for malicious activity, while others gather information about the user's behaviour. This data is then either sold or used to display targeted advertising.

Hacking tools are grayware because they are primarily used to test the security of networks. Hacking tools make it easy to exploit vulnerabilities as they simulate hacking.

Malware is the name given to software that runs computer processes that are unauthorised and usually harmful. The term "malware" includes viruses, worms and trojan horses.

Phishing refers to a method of stealing personal data using an authentic-looking e-mail. The idea is to trick the recipient into sending secret information such as account information or login data to the criminal. This typically includes a prompt to make some change to your account login using a link that is provided.

Remote Access Tools RATs are generally identified as grayware. RATs are not malicious programs but legitimate tools for managing data and program sequences on external computers linked through a network connection. RATS are potential vulnerabilities used by scammers or other malware.

Spyware is software that monitors and collects a user's data and eventually transmits it to a company for various purposes. This activity is invisible to most users.

Trojan horse or trojan comes from Greek legend and refers to covert infiltration by malware or malicious software under the guise of a useful program. Trojans usually embeds itself directly in the computer's operating system. Trojans may be designed to collect personal or financial data. Most trojans are not equipped to reproduce and spread instead they act as land mines waiting in e-mails or web pages.

Viruses can spread by attaching themselves to many types of files as soon as these files are executed, copied or sent. Viruses generally reproduce within a system, though like worms some virus types can also reproduce through automated propagation. ActiveX viruses infect only browsers that support ActiveX. Boot sector viruses infect the data needed to boot up a computer. Java viruses exploit vulnerabilities in outdated versions of the Java Runtime Environment. Macro viruses can occur in all file types that permit storage of document-related macros. Script viruses spread by exploiting script languages. File infector viruses infect executable programs.

Vulnerabilities usually consist of opportunities to either operate the computer remotely without input from the user or to spy on data. Vulnerabilities to many types of attack occur as soon as a connection exists to a network such as the Internet. Any program that needs a network connection has vulnerabilities. Operating systems, E-mail programs, Browsers, ICQ, messanger are susceptible to being manipulated over the network,

Worms are specialists in spreading and reproducing by exploiting all known vulnerabilities. A worm does not have a payload of its own but is often used as a transport mechanism for viruses. Worms can be dispersed through e-mail, instant messaging programs or network connections. Worms spread through automatically sent e-mails to all available address book lists as an attachment. Worms spread through network connections or connected computers by exploiting network vulnerabilities.

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