SoftwareEveryone knows that software is one on the main features of computer use. Unlike hardware, which is made up of physical components, software consists of a set of instructions that work in conjunction with hardware and performs a particular task. The two major software categories are “system software” and “application software.”


Software comes in various types that meet the needs of the end user. Software types range from business software to more complex software, some examples that are used for business are: Office Suites, Accounting, Utility, and Database. There is some more costly, specialty software used for specific industries that is customized to fit the needs for that industry. We have all heard of computer viruses; however, did you know that there is software that is designed to infiltrate your computer when using the Internet? This type of software is potentially destructive to your computer and affects your computer’s performance. It is important to recognize these types so that action can be taken to eliminate them and ensuring that your computer will continue to run at optimal speed.


Let’s take a closer look at some terms:


System Software Runs the Computer –

System software is made up of the operating system and other control programs for managing the hardware and running the applications.


Application Software Runs the Business –

Application software is any program that processes data for the user (inventory, payroll, spreadsheet, word processor). The terms “software,” “program” and “application” are synonymous in common use.


ADWARE – Adware is software that periodically collects the user’s browsing behavior in order to pop up targeted ads on the computer.  If popup ads screens are becoming more frequient then consider doing a clean up and a virus scan on the computer.


MALWARE – Software designed to destroy data, steal information or aggravate the user.  Malware is usually disguised as a Microsoft program installation or an update for the program.  A general rule of thumb is never run, install, or update any kind of program that dos not look legitimate.
SHAREWARE – Software on the “honor system.” The concept is that users try a product, and if they like it, they voluntarily pay a pre-determined registration fee or make a donation to the program’s creator.


FREEWARE – Software that is distributed without charge and which may be redistributed without charge by its users. Ownership is retained by the developer who may change future releases from freeware to a paid product or “FEEWARE.”


FIRMWARE – Software instructions residing in non-volatile memory chips that hold their content without power. Today’s firmware chips are mostly flash memory, which can be easily updated, especially in consumer electronics products.

Devices with no hard drive, such as smartphones, MP3 players and tablets, flash memory chips also hold the applications and user data.


SPYWARE – Software that sends information about your Web surfing habits to its Web site. Often quickly installed in your computer in combination with a free download you selected from the Web, spyware transmits information in the background as you move around the Web.


There are also spyware programs that keep changing the home page in the browser to a particular Web site or just keep popping up ads all the time Nevertheless, once you detect spyware, it can be eliminated.


Spyware vs. Viruses

Spyware and adware are unwanted software, it would seem that antivirus software should detect spyware and adware as well as viruses and Trojans. Although some security suites provide all these capabilities, anti-spyware and anti-virus modules are typically separate functions.


SPAMWARE – Software that assists a spammer. Such programs include harvesting e-mails randomly from Web sites, maintaining the lists and sending out spam (unwanted advertisements). The system may also falsify the identifying header information in the spam messages.

Please feel free to forward this information to others.  If you would like to learn more on this topic or would like to request an area of technology you are interested in, please contact me.

About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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