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What is Malware?

10 September 2015

Many PC users consider malware, viruses, worms and Trojans, as the same thing. While all these infections harm our computers, they are not the same. They are all types of malicious software that each behave differently.

To avoid your machine being infected, it helps to know about malware. Here is a summary about Viruses, Worms and Trojans.


A virus is a computer program that replicates by attaching itself to another object. For example, a virus could be hidden in a Word document. When you send that Word document to a colleague (via disk or via e-mail) you have spread that virus. If your colleague opens that Word document on their computer it can then infect other documents, or if it is a malicious virus might even delete some important files.


Worms are very similar to viruses. A worm is a computer program that replicates independently by sending itself to other systems. Thus a worm can spread much faster. Worms often spread over e-mail. When worms are received through e-mail, they often look at the address book and automatically send a message containing the worm to everybody in that address book (including your friends). Again, if that worm is malicious it might delete files.


Trojans are malicious applications that pretend to be or embed to regular applications. Once inside the computer system, a trojan can give access of your computer system to an attacker, though the trojan has no ability to replicate itself. There are different types of trojans such as, remote access trojans, data sending trojans, destructive trojans, proxy trojans and others.


Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date!

It is very important to contact your IT department and inform them of any infection.  If you feel your machine is infected with any of the above, please contact DTE IT Support Services who would be happy to advise or help with any removal process.

For a free no obligation review of your current IT systems please email Richard Bell or Matthew Madden on  or call

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