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Table of Contents

Malware and Viruses

Malware = spyware or a virus.

  • Spyware: program that installs itself on your computer and gathers info about you (sometimes known as "tracking cookies")
  • Virus: self-reproducing computer program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other programs or documents

Malware spreads across campus, computer to computer on the network.

There's no one clear sign of a virus or malware, but there are some warning signs:

  • Slow performance
  • Windows folders opening on startup
  • Unprompted popups - watch out for Malware disguised as a malware scanner!
  • Questionable search engines where your homepage used to be
  • Warnings on your desktop about dangerous programs on your system
  • Computer reboots unexpectedly
  • Strange icons on your desktop or system tray
  • New software on your computer that you didn't install

Please note: a slow computer or the "blue screen of death" does not always mean you have a virus! It could also be hardware problems.


The best defense against malware and viruses is a good offense: PROTECTION IS BEST!
Below we list some ways to avoid viruses, including options you have for anti-virus and anti-malware software.