Helping you balance your online life

Oct 11th

2012

What is a Trojan Horse Virus?

What is a Trojan horse virus?
A Trojan horse virus is a computer program that either pretends to have, or is described as having, a set of useful or desirable features but actually contains a damaging payload. True Trojan horse viruses are not technically viruses, since they do not replicate; however, many computer viruses and worms use Trojan horse tactics to initially infiltrate a system. Although Trojans are not technically viruses, they can be just as destructive.


Many people use the term "Trojan" to refer only to non-replicating malicious programs, thus making a distinction between Trojans and viruses.

How do you protect against Trojan horse viruses?
  • Safeguard your computer with an anti-virus software or anti-spyware software.
  • Use a firewall. Firewalls block unwanted connections, which can help prevent Trojan horse viruses.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments, clicking on unfamiliar links, downloading and installing certain programs from publishers that you don't trust and visiting strange websites as some of these attachments, links, programs or websites could be Trojans that contain viruses.
  • Keep up-to-date with security patches for your operating system.

How do you know if you've accessed a Trojan horse program?
Trojan horse programs are difficult to decipher. When you've accessed one you will most like have accidentally downloaded a virus or malware to your computer. So your best plan of action is to be able to determine if you have downloaded a virus or malware on your computer. Some of the signs include:
  • Slow web browsing.
  • Slower PC startup time.
  • You receive pop-up ads on a regular basis.
  • A mysterious new toolbar appears on your computer or browser.
  • There are new, unfamiliar icons on your system tray.
  • Your computer settings have changed and you cannot change the settings back.
  • Your PC is noticeably sluggish.

How do you remove a Trojan horse virus program?
If you think you have accessed a Trojan horse and installed a virus on your computer we recommend that you use antivirus software to run a scan. If you don't have one, you can download McAfee's latest antivirus software or have AOL TechGuru's Virus Removal & Repair remove damaging viruses for you.