F-Secure separates threats into four Categories based on the potential harm a program may pose to the user's device or data.
The Categories, listed in order of severity, are:
Programs categorized as Malware pose a significant security risk to the user's system and/or information.
Types of programs in the Malware category include viruses, worms and trojans, among other threats. These threats can perform harmful actions such as stealing personal or program data, secretly manipulating the device or installed programs, or completely blocking the user from using the device.
Malware is usually automatically removed by F-Secure's security products.
Programs categorized as Spyware introduce a security risk that may affect the user's personal data.
Types of programs in the Spyware category include trackware and adware. These programs may offer a useful service in exchange for being allowed to gather information from or about the user.
The kind of information gathered by these programs varies, and may include items such as details of the system or installed programs; web browsing behavior and history; and most importantly, personal details. Legal implications may arise based on where and how the program is used, and how the information is collected, transmitted and stored.
Programs categorized as Riskware are considered safe when used by an authorized person in an appropriate situation. If misused, or used by an attacker, the program may be a security risk.
Types of programs in the Riskware category include monitoring-tools and hack-tools. These are utility programs that may be legitimately used by system administrators or other authorized personnel, but may pose a security risk when used inappropriately, or by an attacker.
If user is aware of and accepts the potential risk associated with a program classed as Riskware, they can configure the F-Secure security product to exclude it from being scanned.
Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA)
Note: this Category is used only to categorize mobile threats.
A program or component that may be considered undesirable or intrusive by a user if used questionably, or may inadvertently introduce privacy or security risks.
If the user is aware of and accepts the potential risk associated with a program classed as PUA, they may elect to install and use the application.
About Detection Names
A quick guide to Detections - why they are important, how they work and how to read them. Also includes Generic Detections and how they differ from traditional Detections.