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
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
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.