Technology Challenge Question: Malware

Malware is…

a) malicious software of all types
b) the set of tools to open the CPU of a computer
c) a type of computer virus
d) a collection of tools that enable access to a computer

If you said a), then you are correct! Malware is the general term for any type of malicious software that can infect your computer. Computer viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and rootkits are all forms of malware.

Some common myths about malware include:

“I will know if I’m affected.”

This is not necessarily true! A computer might have been turned into a zombie. That is, it has been compromised and is generating spam emails and contributing to denial of service (DDoS) attacks in the background. Oftentimes, users have no idea their computer has been infected. Read more about zombie computers.

“I have a Mac, so I don’t have to worry about malware.”

While it is true that a Mac user will not be facing the same threats as a PC user, that does not mean there is not malware out there specifically targeting Mac operating systems.

“You can only get malware off bad websites.”

Very much not true! These sites are not the only sources of malware. Even legitimate sites, your friend’s email, and software updates from known companies can be hacked. There are many ways to accidentally get malware on a computer.

To learn more about malware and how to protect your computer from a variety of threats, come to one of Houston Public Library’s FREE Computer Security classes. Search our website to find where and when the next class will be offered.

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