What is Malware?
Malware can cause serious issues with your PC, including but not limited to:
Short for malicious software, malware is specifically designed to damage or disrupt normal system functions.
Types of Malware
- Inability to launch a web browser
- Inability to view web pages
- Increase in frequency of pop-up advertisements
- Broken links in your web browser
- Decreased system performance, especially when connected to the Internet
- General to severely slowed PC functions, such as bootup/shutdown times
A computer virus is a program that "infects" a computer and can cause serious problems for the user. A computer virus can do something as harmless looking as moving files around without the user's knowledge to completely destroying data on the hard disk. Install anti-virus software and update the virus definition files regularly to help keep the system virus free. (All students are required to install anti-virus if they have a computer connected to the campus network.)
Spyware is software that covertly gathers information about a user's Internet browsing habits; usually for advertising purposes. These programs send browser information to a third-party who may sell or use that information to direct advertisements, such as pop-up ads, to the end user. Spyware can come bundled with freeware or shareware programs downloaded from the Internet, as well as peer-to-peer file sharing programs and instant messaging software.
Browser Hijacking Software
Protection, Detection, and Removal
This is software that changes browser settings, such as the homepage, and often won't let the user change the settings back. It may also install unwanted toolbars and/or search bars, unwanted desktop shortcuts, or may redirect existing browser shortcuts to other sites.
The best protection is a good anti-virus program. Security Essentials, AVG, Norton, McAfee are just a few programs that are allowed on the KSC network.
The IT Group also recommends setting PCs for automatic Microsoft Updates.
Other good malware fighting resources are Spybot, Ad-Aware, and Malwarebytes.
The IT Group recommends installing these resources, but does not assume liability for them. Spybot and AdAware do occasionally cause problems with other software, but it is often because the software has a built-in spyware component.