According to Wikipedia, “Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorised access to system resources, and other abusive behaviour. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.”
Basically what all that means is this: Malware is a piece of software written by someone with the intent of causing mischief to others. The level of “mischief” varies from harmless, but annoying pranks; to data destruction and/or denial of services. Most people are familiar with viruses. Almost everyone knows someone that has had to deal with one. What most people are not familiar with can be the worst to deal with. I’m talking about spyware, adware, and the like. These can be very hard to detect and to get rid of. They sneakily insert themselves into your system in many areas so if you find and delete one, there is always a “seed” ready to sprout up again somewhere else!
The best defence is a proactive offence. Get good anti-virus software (we recommend Bullguard), and keep it updated! It wont do you much good with an outdated database. Scan your system at least weekly for infections. Make sure your anti-virus software specifically checks for spyware, etc. Not all of them do.
If somehow you end up with a virus, the best thing to do is to bring it to Chips Computers. We have experienced technicians that specialise in tackling tenacious viruses and saving your data! We can also install anti-virus software for you and do an overall system “cleaning” to ensure your system is running at its best.