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Cyber Safety Glossary

Malware


Also Known As:
Malicious Software, Virus, Worm, Trojan Horse, Spyware.

Description:
Any software programs developed for the purpose of doing harm to a computer system or create mischief. The most common are Viruses, Worms, and Spyware.

How to Recognize This Threat:
Any unsolicited correspondence from an unknown source is a potential carrier and should be considered suspect. Be wary of executable (.exe) file extensions, even if sent by an acquaintance. Software download and file sharing sites that are not trusted may harbor Malware.

What Should I Do:
It is recommended for every computer user to have anti-virus software loaded on their computer. Furthermore, the anti-virus software should have the capability of being automatically updated, to ensure it protects against the latest threats. It should also automatically scan incoming and outgoing email. On a regular basis - at least weekly - the anti-virus software should automatically scan every file on the computer. You should also have anti-Spyware software installed on the computer and have firewall protection. Avoid opening suspicious .exe files that arrives via email.