Virus, Trojan Horses, Spyware and Malware Policy

Holland Computers, Inc. has established the following policy regarding the repair of computer systems suspected or verified to have Viruses, Trojan Horses, Spyware or Malware programs installed.

Definitions:

Virus: A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are manmade. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems. Since 1987, when a virus infected ARPANET, a large network used by the Defense Department and many universities, many antivirus programs have become available. These programs periodically check your computer system for the best-known types of viruses. Some people distinguish between general viruses and worms. A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.

Trojan Horse: A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer. The term comes from a story in Homer's Iliad, in which the Greeks give a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering. But after the Trojans drag the horse inside their city walls, Greek soldiers sneak out of the horse's hollow belly and open the city gates, allowing their compatriots to pour in and capture Troy.

Spyware: (n.) Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers. Spyware is similar to a Trojan horse in that users unwittingly install the product when they install something else. A common way to become a victim of spyware is to download certain peer-to-peer file swapping products that are available today. Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, spyware steals from the user by using the computer's memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spyware's home base via the user's Internet connection. Because spyware is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability. Because spyware exists as independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other spyware programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the spyware author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party. Licensing agreements that accompany software downloads sometimes warn the user that a spyware program will be installed along with the requested software, but the licensing agreements may not always be read completely because the notice of a spyware installation is often couched in obtuse, hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

Malware : (n.) Short for malicious software, software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus or a Trojan horse. Because of the very nature of this type of software is considered malicious and unpredictable, any labor performed on an infected system WILL NOT carry any kind of labor warranty whatsoever. It is impossible for any technician to control the use of your computer once it leaves this shop.

Holland Computers is diligent in protecting our computer systems from these attacks and will not allow any customers computer to be connected to our internal network. Any computer systems brought to us for repair will be connected only to a dedicated connection designed for the purpose of providing Internet access to that computer for the purpose of obtaining software and operating system updates. This connection is monitored and protected by a server dedicated to protecting customer systems from attacks while connected to this network.

All customers are encouraged to install Antivirus and Anti Spyware software. If a customers system is checked in and does not have these protective measures in place, we will offer our recommended solutions. Customers who decline this offer will void any labor warranty, expressed or implied.

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