Malware is short for “malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
How to avoid Malware:
- Keep your security software updated. At a minimum, your computer should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall. Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS) to update automatically.
- Avoid keygens, cracks and other warz.
- Download files only from trusted sources.
- Use common sense while online.
How do I detect Malware?
Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. Your computer may be infected with malware if it:
- Slows down, crashes, or displays repeated error messages.
- Won't shut down or restart.
- Displays web pages you didn't intend to visit, or sends emails you didn't write.
- New and unexpected icons in your shortcuts or on your desktop.
- A sudden or repeated change in your computer's internet home page.
- A laptop battery that drains more quickly than it should.