What is malware - harmful software?
Malicious software, commonly known as malware, is any software that causes damage to a computer system. Malware can take the form of worms, viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware and rootkits, etc. that steal protected data, delete documents, or add software that has not been approved by a user.
Malware is software designed to harm computers and users. Some types of malware “spy” on users' Internet traffic. Examples are spyware and adware. Spyware monitors a user's location and, when enabled, can reveal sensitive information such as: Collect credit card numbers to encourage identity theft.
Adware also collects user information that is shared with advertisers and then integrated with unwanted, triggered pop-up ads.
Worms and viruses behave differently because they can spread quickly and undermine an entire computer system. They can also engage in unsavory activities from a user's computer without the user's knowledge. A computer system can suffer considerable damage as a result of a virus or worm.
Anti-malware should determine if there are threats by scanning a computer and removing it if found. Prevention is better than corrective action after infection. Although anti-virus programs should be constantly activated and updated, certain types of threats, such as spyware, can frequently enter a computer system.
A firewall should be in place at all times for additional security. Several compatible sources of protection are recommended as additional insurance against malware.