Desert Sky Computing

Not sure what something means, no problem. I know it is difficult to continue understanding a topic after coming across words that are unique to that topic only. That along with an endless supply of abbreviations and acronyms like (IBM, CPU, GUI). Even looking some of the terms only leads to more confusion. I believe this to be a major reason why individuals “choose to loose” interest and leave the topic alone. Hopefully, the definitions included in this website are concise and meaningful to my readers. Once, again, if you find anything on my website that could use your input please send me an e-mail.Remember: if you are not sure what a word means just click on it and it should lead you hear. Jim

PUPs
Acronym for Potentially Unwanted Programs.This does not mean that the program is infected with a virus but is certainly not need to operate your computer effectively. I would normally delete all unknown PUPs.

Heuristic
References the ability to use problem solving techniques like “trial-and-error” or having a self-educating ability by using feedback. Often shown as Heuristic-Engine or Heuristic Analysis.All a fancy way of saying your virus software can learn to recognize new viruses

Spyware
A software program that can gather information about you without your knowledge and may send that information to someone else. It is commonly used to track and storing your movements on the web and in some cases use that information to send pop-up ads to your monitor. Spyware is also known as keyloggers which log all keyboard action and therefore can capture your passwords, bank ID numbers and other private information. The are normally classified into four types. Trojans, Adware, System Monitors, ie keyloggers, and tracking cookies.

Trojans
A type of Malware. Named after the story of the Trojan Horse, they infect your computer by acting as useful item like a program or an attachment to an email. Trojans normally do not infect other files like a virus or make copies of themselves like Worms. Trojans contain malicious code that carries out actions they may cause system harm or steal information from the user.

Worm
A computer worm is a program that replicates itself and attempts to spread to other computers most commonly through a network. Unlike a virus a worm does not need to attach itself to another program on your computer.Worms are most know for what is known as "service attacks" where they spread themselves so much and so fast that they bog the bandwidth of networks and can be used to target certain IPA's.

IP address
Simply put it is the numerical label that is assigned to each device that uses the Internet Protocol (IP) for communication. Your computer has an IP address as does Amazon.com.

Virus
A term used to describe a malicious piece of software that replicates itself by inserting copies into other computer programs and files. They may also reside in the boot sector of the hard drive or your computer's memory. Most viruses are harmful, some are playfully malicious causing no permanent damage but none the less all viruses should be removed from your computer. Also known as a computer bug.

Malware
Short for malicious software it is any software that is used to disrupt computer operations. They do this by gaining access to your system and they are capable of gathering private information. Often malware is called by other names like ransomware, scareware, adware, spyware. All are harmful to your system and your private information.

Ransomware
A type of malware that locks you out of your computer until you pay a ransom. In many cases paying the ransom will still not release the computer. It is always best to aggressively remove any ransomware from your computer.

Bloatware
This is a slang name used for programs that have excessive features that takes up a lot of disk space and/or memory. Some bloatware, loads a lot of sub programs. Printer software may also fall in this catagory. Just loading one printer program might load, small programs to notify you of the printer's status, notify the user of constant updates, OCR readers, photo changing apps, organizations apps and a host of other when all you wanted was a computer to print. Some pc manufacturers. All too often, they are started with the computer which takes up valuable resources are are usually unnecessary. /p>

Adware
A lesser form of malware* in the sense that it normally does not try to exploit sensitive date from the user. Some adware is seen in legitimate software as a way to cut development costs. Many computers come loaded with adware. They attempt to generate revenue by offering up ads on your computer screen or while surfing the Web. Each time you click on one of the ads or purchase a product after clicking the ad they receive revenue from that vendor. Some "free software" or apps for phones are heavily loaded with adware to offset the cost of the "free" If you do not mind a few ad pop ups the freeware may be worth it to you. In this case adware is just the price paid. *Some adware is indeed malicious. It is cable of introducing you to other forms of malware like Trojans, viruses and worms. Unless you know the cause and are OK with it DELETE IT.

Scareware
This is malware that uses a computer users fears into believing they have a serious problem on their computer. In many cases the user will initially download what they believe to be a free optimizer or other free but helpful software. The program will then produce what appears to be a ridiculous amount of “errors” that they can fix for $19.95 or some other amount. In reality what may be happening is: they are actually using software that is already free and it is defining actual problems on your computer. Once you pay their fee, they will send you a copy of “free” program that will optimize your computer. On the other hand what many of them do is list every occurrence of an issue on your computer as an error but in actuality is not an error. For example if you have 3018 items in your recycle bin that just needed to be deleted it would list it at 3018 errors. Don’t fall for scareware. Remove it from your system and try one of the many free alternatives available to you.

Browsers
This is software that enable the user to interface with the Web. Browsers translate the internet code on a web page into meaningful text, graphics or videos. Without a browser you would only see code. Common Browsers are Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox. Microsoft is introducing Spartan in 2015.

Windows Registry
The registry is a database that holds the settings for all the hardware, programs and applications running on your computer. There is no one file for the registry but rather a collection of files that make up the Windows Registry.

Social Media
Social media is an internet based application that allows people to interact socially with one or more individuals. Examples are: Facebook. Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, etc. All allow you upload text, photos or videos to share with others.

Boot Sector
A Boot sector is nothing more than reserved space on your computer’s hard drive that is used to inform the operating system of the necessary steps in starting your computer.
Note: Boot or Boot-up comes from the old term to put your boots on when getting ready to start the day.

Open-Sourced Software
Open-Sourced software is software that give complete access to all users. You are allowed to view the actual code used to write the program and make changes if you wish. Many people view open-source to the source code. This is the code used to

Web Server
An internet server or Web server is a special computer which is constantly switched on and connected to the internet so that each internet user using a browser anywhere in the world can access a given website at anytime. Most Web servers are made to endure the work and high load of the internet. Web servers rent sections of the servers in what is defined as Web Hosting. This allows individuals like me to put our work on a server where it is given a unique address that can be accessed by a user by typing that address into their browser.

Mail Server
Similar to Web Server in all aspects except it is designed to handle electronic mail instead of webpages.

TCP/IP
Defined as Transmission Control Protocol, it is the core protocol of the Internet Protocol Suite. It started as Internet Protocol and now is listed as TCP/IP.  this protocol provides error checking or the individual packets of information that is sent between the web and client servers. It is used by the WWW, Email and FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

URL
Defined as the Uniform Resource Locator which is the location of the resource on a computer network and has the mechanism for retrieving it. Sometime pronounced "Earl". URLs reference web pages (http), email as (mailto) and file transfer as (FTP) The address bar in your browser displays the URL. Websites like http://www.amazon.com or http://desertskycomp.com are URLs.

Client Server
this is basically the browser you use to connect to a web server.

Plugins
Whether called Plugins, Add-ons or extensions, they are all programs that are hooked into your browser's code like java and flash or part of the browser like a Google tool bar or Avast security.

Tracking Cookies
Tracking cookies are very similar to cookies but they are intended to create revenue for the individuals that create them.They are not put on your computer by normal websites but by third party entities. They tend to track your total usage across all websites.This is usually not desirable, because it keeps track of everywhere you go and everything you do and buy. While most tracking cookies are not good to have on your computer some are very dangerous by sending the information they track to individuals you would not want having that information.

Rootkit Virus
This type of virus is different in the sense they tend to put themselves in the boot sector of you computer where normal antivirus programs cannot find them.  They are hard to detect while having privileged access to your computer. It's biggest danger lies in the fact that it hides itself very well from the exact programs that are designed to find it.  In some cases it actually takes a hardware change to remove the virus. Fortunately, some the big players in the anti-virus industry provide special tools to rid computers from most of them.

Cookies
Cookies are very small programs that websites put on your computer to track information of your use on its site. Most cookies are helpful and most browsers are set to accept cookies. You most likely should not have 3rd party cookies accepted, you may change them in your browser settings.