Malware or “malicious software” is designed to secretly access a computer system without the owner's knowledge or consent. Software is considered to be malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular feature. The term malware covers a wide variety of software including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware and other malicious and unwanted software.
Malware is often used to steal personal information, such as account number and login credentials, which can then be used to commit fraud.
How can I protect myself against malware?
There are several easy ways to minimize the risk of malware:
• Do not respond to or click on links in pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information as they are likely fraudulent.
• Do not open and install attachments and free software from unknown sources.
• Avoid downloading files from file sharing and social networking sites, which can be distributions points for malware.
• Install and run anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep them up-to-date.