Malware is the general term used to describe a piece of software or type of computer application that is designed to disrupt, stop or otherwise hinder computer operations. Malware includes viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware and other threats.
Some of these threats, such as viruses, are especially dangerous due to their ability to replicate themselves and require little knowledge or skill to design, increasing the rate of viruses in circulation. A Trojan horse is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software, giving malicious users access to your system, while a worm is a standalone computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Spyware, meanwhile, is unwanted software that infiltrates your computing device, stealing your internet usage data and sensitive information.
Although Trojans and worms technically aren’t viruses, they are still classified as malware and harmful to your computer. Even viruses that do nothing more than slow down your computer can occupy your computer’s resources until there is nothing left and the computer stops. Below, our dos and don’ts for protecting yourself from malware:
- Don’t click on links you’re unsure of, visit peculiar websites, or click links located within popup ads.
- Don’t download anything that you are unsure of.
- Make sure that your security software and operating system are up to date.
- Make sure whatever security application(s) you use is configured correctly.
- Monitor your system carefully for abhorrent behavior. Run scans immediately if the computer is acting oddly.
- Run your anti-malware/antivirus scan at least once a week.
If you think you have been a victim of malware, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.936.7730 (U.S.) or 00800.4728.2000 (Int’l).