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What is the difference between viruses, malware, spyware and adware

Virus

The word itself defines what a virus is. The main function of a virus is to spread from one to another, infecting as many devices as possible. A USB stick is connected to a computer with a virus, it is copied to the USB stick. When we connect the USB memory to another computer, this virus passes to this computer, and so on it infects other computers. Are there viruses on Android? You can say no. Although there will be some very isolated cases, the truth is that copying to infect other devices does not work on Android. Even with all security options disabled, Android works with a sandbox, so any virus could not affect the original software of our smartphone. Therefore, it could not be replicated to reach other devices, and if this is the case, how did it reach our device? Something similar to a virus has appeared sometime, but it is so complex that this exists, and that it spreads across all smartphones, that it cannot even be considered a virus. Google has different tools in its operating system to fight viruses.

Malware

Malware does exist, and it does exist on Android. And it is not so difficult to have malware on our smartphone, especially if we do not know precisely what it is. First of all, what is malware capable of doing? Deceive us, and in various ways. Malware is the one that is capable of knowing our bank account data, or of knowing our passwords, or of modifying an application or a website to deceive ourselves and make us believe that we have to give it data, with a good pretext, but that in the end they are stolen. Since viruses are almost non-existent on Android, for malware to act it has to have the consent of the user. It’s funny, but it is the user who installs and authorizes the malware. Sometimes it can be without realizing it, or sometimes it can be because it has deceived us and has been posing as another application. In my case, not too long ago the smartphone started to malfunction, I started to run out of space in the internal memory, and the strange thing was that it freed up space, but it continued to occupy the memory. Among the applications I found a duplicate, and I realized that this is a common action in malware, impersonating another application to trick the user into not realizing that it is malware. How to avoid malware? A game does not have to have access to our SMS, for example. A flashlight app doesn’t have to have access to calls. If we give it to them, they will be able to send SMS to premium numbers, numbers whose benefits hackers obtain, for example. We pay the bill, obviously. The key is to avoid what we don’t know. And if at any time we are not sure about something, it is best to avoid it.

Spyware or Adware

It is not malicious software. It can even be beneficial software. Usually it is software that the user prefers to avoid, but that he installs inadvertently because he thinks it is good. For example, when online services inform us that they want to collect information to improve their services or offer a better experience. The translation of that is that they want to obtain statistics to sell us more products, and that in the best of cases. There are other situations where the data they extract only benefits them. For example, it is data that they can use to improve their advertising and earn more money. The worst thing is that this spyware or adware, which in the end is present on all computers, smartphones or tablets, has spyware or adware. Google, for example, usually has the data of our GPS location, and we have allowed it. Apple collects statistics on the operating system of its iPhone and iPad. It is so, and we consent to it. Is this bad for the user? Most of the time it will not affect us in any way, but the truth is that normally these things consume resources of the smartphone, for example, and in any case, it never likes that a company is obtained statistics without having been clear enough about what he was going to do. How to detect spyware or adware? Sometimes it’s just a question: Would you like Google to get information about how you use GPS to improve its services? And then they say that they store the data anonymously, or that they won’t use the data to offer us anything, at best. of the cases. Most users are hesitant to read these questions, eventually hitting Yes. You will never get a notice of this type regarding this feature again. We will forget, the option to deactivate it will be hidden, and we will spend years giving information to Google, Apple, or any other company. The key is, as in the previous case, to be insightful, read, and understand what we read. In the latter case, some things are good. We do not mind collaborating with our operator to improve the service, or with Google to improve the location. But maybe we don’t want an application to sell us more products, for example. Everything is a matter of learning to read and understand.