What exactly is Malware?

Malware is malicious software. Malware comes in many forms that include Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses.

  • A Virus is a piece of computer code that attaches itself to a program or file so it can spread. Viruses can damage your software, hardware and files.
  • A Worm is a type of virus that is designed to copy itself from one computer to another. Unlike a regular virus, worms don’t need to travel via a “host” program.
  • A Trojan Horse is a type of virus that is a computer program that appears to be useful but actually does damage. Victims are lured into willingly opening them.

Here are a few tips on identifying and removing Malware as well as safeguarding against it.

Malware symptoms include:

  • Computer runs consistently slower than normal
  • Computer stops responding or locks up often
  • Computer hangs and restarts every few minutes
  • Computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
  • Computer applications do not work properly
  • Computer disks or disk drives are inaccessible
  • Printing does not work correctly
  • Computer continuously displays unusual error messages

Safeguards against Malware:

  • Install Antivirus software and scan your system weekly (for Windows 10 PCs we like the built in Windows Defender)
  • Never open e-mail attachments from strangers
  • Never open e-mail attachments from someone you know unless you are expecting them or know exactly what the attachments are
  • Be very suspicious of file attachments with extensions commonly used to spread viruses such as “.com”, “.vbs”, “.bat”, “.exe”, “.pif” and “.scr”
  • Do not trust displayed file names
  • Read suspicious e-mail messages in plain context
  • Install operating system security updates
  • Backup your system regularly