Home » Computers » Spyware and Viruses

Help! There Are Worms In My Computer!

Aug 17, 2007
We've all heard of nasty worms that can infest our dogs and cats. They can seriously harm our pets if left untreated. Well, the same can be said for the worms that can crawl through your computer, too.

Computer worms are programs that reproduce themselves by using networks to send clones of themselves to other computers that are attached to the network-and they do so without any help from you. Although this description of a worm might sound much like a computer virus, there are some major differences.

Unlike a virus, a worm does not need to be attached to another program; it is a standalone program. Worms, even if they're intended to be harmless, will always do damage to the network, though it might only be using up extra bandwidth. A virus attacks and corrupts files on a computer.

The very first worm was actually created with the intention of performing a useful task. Researchers at Xerox PARC by the names of John F. Shoch and Jon A. Hupp designed a worm to move through a network and identify processors that were not in use. The worm would then assign tasks to these processors so that the network would run more efficiently. They dubbed this program a "worm" using inspiration from the science fiction novel "The Shockwave Rider" written by John Brunner.

Sadly, after Shoch and Hupp's useful worm, hackers began to exploit the idea for their own purposes. Among the first worms to appear on the Internet was one created by Robert Tappan Morris, who was a student at Cornell University at the time. Called the Morris worm, it sped through the Internet and infected numerous computers before Morris was identified and convicted of violating the Computer Crime and Abuse Act.

Computer worms exist in several varieties. There are email worms that are spread through email messages. They arrive in your inbox attached to email messages or an attachment might direct you to a site where the worm code lies in wait. Once it's activated, the worm gathers email addresses from your address book and spreads to your family, friends, and contacts.

Instant messaging worms spread by using your IM contact list to send links to websites with worms or the worm code itself to everyone in your list. Worms sent as files through instant messaging typically aren't as successful as other types of worms since the person receiving them would have to confirm that they received the file, save it, and open it before the worm would be activated.

Internet worms infest through TCP/IP ports on your computer. Once your computer is infected, it will attack other computers on the local network and on the Internet at large, thus replicating itself.

Worms seriously degrade the performance of your system, making it run very slowly. They might also contain coding designed to delete files on your computer or encrypt them. And, they could create a back door into your computer that would actually allow the person who created the worm to take control of your computer.

Like other types of computer threats, such as viruses, you can protect your computer from worms. First, keep in mind that many worms spread by tricking you into helping them. Be wary of email messages from addresses you aren't familiar with, emails containing unexpected files-even if they're from someone you know, and instant messages directing you to a website or containing a file.

Install security updates available for your computer on a timely basis. Many of these updates come out in response to current threats being spread through the Internet, so it's important that you stay on top of them. In most cases, you can set up your computer preferences to automatically install these updates at a time that's convenient for you.

Finally, purchase both anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Although they aren't foolproof, when they're kept up to date, they provide invaluable protection from many threats. Most software of this type will either come with free updates or will offer a subscription service for updates.

Taking steps to protect your computer from worms will greatly improve your computing and Internet experience. You'll see an improvement in speed and capabilities...and you'll feel much less frustrated, too!
About the Author
While surfing the internet I found "XoftSpySE" which did an excellent job cleaning up and optimizing my PC. This program saved me a lot of time and frustration by getting rid of some high risk items that found their way into my computer. Get a free scan at http://www.easywayincome.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 175
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources