Worm, Malware, Virus, Spyware, Trojan Horse – If Your Computer Is Not Working Properly

by Sherry Riter in Blog tips  ,Blogger,Wordpress



When I think of worms it is the context of ugly holes that have been eaten in the green leaves of beautiful plants.

Worms love to gnaw holes and destroy a perfectly good plant. I find them to be most aggravating little creatures.

There is another kind of worm.

Instead of feeding on a plant, this worm attacks a computer. It enters your computer and either replicates continuously or takes some kind of evil action against the computer.

Obviously, that isn’t a good worm either.

There are four other terms that are used synonymously when referring to bad things that happen to a computer, but they really have very different definitions.

Here’s a little vocabulary. The prefix “mal” comes from the Latin “malus” and “male” and means “bad”. Although it has been too long since I have used Spanish, I still remember that both Spanish and English use “mal” in the same way to mean “bad”.

That takes us to the next computer word I want to explain to you.

Malware is any computer software that has been written with a malicious intent. So it is safe to use the word “malware” if you can’t remember the definitions of the other words I’m going to explain to you.

A virus is a piece of software that attaches itself to another program and replicates. Just like when someone in a crowded room sneezes without covering their mouth and nose. The sneeze creates a big, nasty spray that is filled with germs and it lands on everyone. Yeah, I know that was a gross example, but we can all relate to it! The sole purpose of a computer virus is to either continuously copy itself (sneeze and sneeze) or it may have other evil plans.

I promise that you will recover from that gross example. Well, you will as long as I stop talking about it. I promise that I do not have a wicked evil grin on my face right now.

Let’s move on to the next exciting word.

Spyware is the easiest to remember. I’m sure most of us have seen a James Bond spy movie or two. Yes, 007 spied on people to gather personal and private information of an unsuspecting target. That’s exactly the same purpose of spyware. It spies on your computer activity hoping to get private information.

Ready for a little history now?


It is really interesting!

A Trojan Horse was a big, beautiful, wooden horse that was hollowed out so that soldiers could hide inside of it. That is exactly what happened in the slaughter of the Trojans in Troy. The other kind of Trojan Horse is a piece of software that looks like something wonderful, but has a hidden agenda for your computer and really can do some damage without you even realizing it.

What have we learned?

Worms have babies. They don’t have to be married or hang all over their significant other.

Viruses attach, replicate and makes the host object more sick as time passes.

Trojan Horses are like wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

Spyware is not cute like James Bond 007 because it will steal your private information.

Malware is all the above and just bad stuff.

Do you think you will be able to remember all of the terms now?


How about I use them in a sentence that you can memorize…

The worm and the virus hopped on the Trojan horse and headed to Malware in order to use the new spyware on Albert.

Yeah, I’m silly.

No, my computer does not have any of these things. These are just definitions to help with your computer literacy and is my blogging tips post for the week!

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Stéfan September 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I hope Albert is OK.


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: