Malware is any kind of software that compromises security (or performs other bad actions) on a user's computer. Malware, as a general category, includes spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, and a host of other sometimes whimsical names for security compromising software.
Phishing is a social engineering technique whereby hackers send authentic-looking emails to a user in order to persuade the user to share some sort of valuable information (e.g., for identity theft or other fraud).
One specialized technique is 'spear phishing'. In this scam, email apparently from a trusted organizational representative is sent to that person's organization in order to glean credentials for subsequent hacking attacks.
Spyware is computer software that is generally surreptitiously installed on a computer in order to collect information from the computer's user. Such information includes:
Note that spyware is installed without a users' permission. Some programs (e.g., filtering software for juveniles) are installed by parents or institutions for the express purpose of 'spying'. Presumably the spied-upon users are informed (vs. the surreptitious paradigm used by spyware).
A firewall is a piece of hardware (or sometimes software on a user's computer) that examines all network traffic destined to one or more computers. It applies filtering rules to try to remove malicious traffic before it can reach a user's computer.
Most security experts recommend using both a firewall and also antivirus software.
Antispyware software tries to find and disable (and/or remove) spyware from your computer. Historically, spyware came as a sort of "add on" to other malware that inundated a computer's user with pop-up advertising.
Antivirus programs monitor a computer's file creation mechanism and use sophisticated pattern-matching mechanisms to see if new files have a 'signature' that matches any known malware.
The list of malware signatures must be updated regularly (an operation performed automatically by any reputable antivirus program).
Generally, passwords are the weakest link in any security situation. The temptation to lend a workstation or account to someone is very high. Once the password is known, somehow others seem to learn it as if by telepathy. Keeping your passwords secret is the first step to keeping your system secure.
Brahmasthanam, Edappally North P.O. Kochi - 682 024, KERALA
Block-A 2nd Floor
+91 0484 280 2899, EXTN: 111