What is malware/virus – and how does it get on the computer?Malware is short for malicious software and includes viruses, spyware, scareware and similar programs installed on your computer that is installed without your consent or knowledge. Most malware mimics legitimate software in an attempt to get you to purchase something and divulge your credit card information. Malware usually comes from 3 main sources:
- Malware can come as an e-mail attachment such as a file with an .exe or .zip attachment that you are not expecting to receive.
- You can be tricked into installing malware from an infected web site that you go to via a link in an e-mail.
- Malware can be installed automatically or via prompt if you unintentionally go to an infected website. Such web sites are usually unfamiliar, lesser-known web sites that you may find by doing a web search.
How do I avoid getting viruses and malware? No security software is going to protect you from all viruses and malware. Changing your behavior is your best defense: