Virus and Spyware

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A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself onto another computer. A computer "virus" is one type of program in a class of program referred as malware. Malware includes computer viruses, computer worms, Trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software, including true viruses. Viruses are sometimes confused with worms and Trojan horses, which are technically different.

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users. The functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting Web browser activity. Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet or functionality of other programs. Spyware will often send information it collects back to another computer. This aspect of spyware makes it problematic. Many different types of information can be gathered from a computer running a spyware application. Sending this information to someone else (or someone else's computer) is a privacy issue and you should take every measure you can to not allow this to happen.

Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware.

All 4J Windows computers must have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-adware installed. On the OS-X side it is currently sufficient to have the District provided anit-virus software installed.

It is often incorrectly assumed that OS-X computers do not get viruses. Although less prevalent than Windows computer viruses, OS-X computers do get viruses (see World's first OS X virus hits Apple).

Download Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Software here