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Viruses, Malware and Rootkit Infections
What’s the difference?

image shows icon for malware infection

“I think I have a virus.”

Everyone hates this sentence. An infected computer costs money and time to repair if you don’t have the right experience and don’t know what you are looking for. The damages can also extend to stolen personal data, including your credit card and bank account information.

So let’s cover a few basics about this menace:


A “virus” is actually a program installed on your computer that sneaks in via an email attachment, or website you visited that told you to download and install a shopping toolbar. Viruses actually need to be installed by clicking on something (like a zip file you thought was a receipt from UPS). Once installed, then can start running immediately, or lie in wait for a few days/weeks so you forget about it. Viruses can slow the operating system to a crawl, turn your computer off suddenly, block access to the internet or any other jolly thing the hacker wants to happen. To make matters worse, smart viruses can hide in multiple places, making a complete hard drive reformat necessary.


Malware covers everything from the tracking cookies websites drop into your computer so they can follow you around to annoying popups that open and won’t close when you try to surf the internet. Malware can allow access to your browser, opening the door to any internet-based mischief a thief or hacker wants to create. Malware is a very common form of infection if you have someone in your house or business who loves to shop on the internet.

Rootkit Infections

Rootkit infections are very dangerous to your financial and computer health. The term refers to advanced programs that are injected deep into your computer and often connect to a hacker computer anywhere in the world. They can even copy information as you type it, or allow a hacker to actually see what you are doing on your computer. One famous rootkit infection locks your computer and demands a payment to unlock it!

If you are not familiar with the different types of infections, do not attempt removal. Bring your computer to us and we will not only clean your computer, but advise you on the best tools to use so it doesn’t happen it again!