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Welcome to our Newsletter


Explaining the "Wares"

This month we've got a list of definitions. I know, I can hear you now, how boring can it get. I'll do my best to explain the “Wares,” without boring you. We'll start with commonly known terms and get into new and less known definitions. Having these terms in your vocabulary will make you a little more aware of what's happening on the Internet.    Click Here

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Feature Article


Explaining the "Wares"


Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions telling a computer what to do and how to do it. We can also say software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes


Refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips. In contrast, software is untouchable. Software exists as ideas, concepts, and symbols, but it has no substance.


Shareware is basically "try before you buy" software.  Unlike software marketed through normal retail channels, where you are forced to pay for the product before you've even seen it, the shareware concept lets you try a program for a period of time before you buy it.  Once you have tried a shareware program, you know whether it will meet your needs before you pay for it.


Freeware is software offered free of charge, downloadable off of the Internet. If the software requires the user to view ads while using the program, it is technically not freeware but adware. Freeware is also different from shareware in that shareware requires a payment if the software is to be used past a trial date.


Firmware refers to read-only memory (ROM) chips that store permanent instructions. Firmware boots up computerized or digital devices, as ROM chips are non-volatile, meaning they do not require a power source to hold their contents


Sometimes referred to as elephantware, bloatware is commonly understood to refer to software that takes up a significant amount of space on a hard drive, but is used rarely or not at all by the typical user. Essentially, the concept is that the extra software is taking up space on the hard drive that could be used for more productive applications, causing the drive to be overloaded or bloated with relatively useless files and programs. Generally, bloatware is bundled in with features of software programs that are used regularly, making it somewhat difficult for the average user to remove the extras from the hard drive without impacting the function of the desirable features.


Spyware refers to programs that use your Internet connection to send information from your personal computer to some other computer, normally without your knowledge or permission. Most often this information is a record of your ongoing browsing habits, downloads, or it could be more personal data like your name and address.


Adware is software that is freely available for download, but differs from freeware in that adware is ad-sponsored. In many cases adware can be a type of Internet application that runs while the user is online, providing a live feed of changing advertisements, versus built-in static or limited advertising. Adware is a close cousin of spyware as many adware programs collect information about the user to send back to advertisers for purposes of profiling for targeted ad-serving.


Malware is an abbreviated term used to describe a "malicious software" program. Malware includes things like spyware or adware programs, such as tracking cookies, which are used to monitor your surfing habits. It also includes more sinister items, such as keyloggers, Trojan horses, worms, and viruses.


Ransomware is a specific type of malicious software that holds a computer and its contents virtually hostage. This malware acts as a means to perpetuate extortion. Attackers who use malware do so with the goal of forcing victims to pay money to regain access to their own files. After the money has been received, the attacker provides the victim with a code that can restore the system back to normal.


A browser hijacker (sometimes called hijackware) is a type of malware program that alters your computer's browser settings so that you are redirected to Web sites that you had no intention of visiting. Most browser hijackers alter default home pages and search pages to those of their customers, who pay for that service because of the traffic it generates.


This is one of the newest threats on the Internet. This form of Malware encrypts computer files and then leaves a ransom note demanding money in exchange for a key to unlock the files. Also described Ransomware: The equivalent to someone coming into your home, putting your valuables in a safe, and not telling you the combination.

There was probably some left out. Let me know.


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