What exactly is antivirus anyway?

If you are puzzled by any of the sometimes whimsical word choice, or concerned by the seriousness of the problems they describe; if you don’t know that a computer virus is a kind of malware, that a zombie computer is part of a botnet, that being smished is sort of like being phished but not quite, then we have just the glossary for you.

We’ve crafted a rogue’s glossary defining the terms that dot the cyber landscape. Ideally, you should make sure you understand each, but, more importantly, you should be sure you know how to avoid being the victim of any of these— whether a virus or other malware, you can be in for a big headache and sometimes a very costly one too.

So, to get you started in the maddening lexicon of computer mishaps, here’s a list we expect to expand, not only with more of the current terminology, but with new words as they are added to the malware list.

Top Threats
adware
Quick fact: At least 7,000 free apps contain aggressive adware (based on TrendLabs research). 80% are still available and 10% have been downloaded more than 1 million times. Read more >
BOTS & BOTNETS
Quick fact: The countries that had the most reported infections related to the Esthost botnet are the United States, Italy, India, the UK, Germany, France, China, Spain, Canada, and Australia. Read more >
RANSOMWARE
Quick fact: Ransomware can track affected users’ geographic locations and scare them with a scam faking their respective countries’ police force. Read more >
PHISHING
Quick fact: Some of the common phishing target sites include PayPal, eBay, Battle.net, AOL, and Runescape. Read more >