What is Malware: Malware is short for "malicious software." It includes a wide range of online threats such as viruses, worms, spyware and Trojan horses. Fraudsters use many methods to try and get malware onto your computer including e-mail, instant messages, fake Web sites and by offering a desirable download such as free songs or virus scans.
What are the signs of Malware: Most malware tries to stay unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence known to the user. Some types of malware will cause a few noticeable differences in your computer. A computer may be infected with malware if it:
- Slows down or displays repeated error messages
- Behaves strangely, such as spontaneously rebooting, won't shut down or restart correctly
- Displays Web pages or programs you didn't request
- Sends e-mails you didn't write
What you can do to prevent Malware: You can both protect yourself from and avoid malware from getting onto your computer. Many attacks can be avoided with the help of security software and some basic online safety tips.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware security software from a well known company and keep it up-to-date. Set it to automatically install updates.
Use a firewall to protect your computer from unauthorized access and configure it to block unsolicited requests for outgoing communication.