Malware, or malicious software, is hostile, intrusive, or annoying code that includes viruses, spyware, adware, worms, trojan horses, and other unwanted programs.
Malware and spyware are written and released on a daily basis. Many of the more common malware morphs or changes frequently to make them more difficult to detect. Malware spreads rapidly and by many different ways: for example, via e-mail attachments; infected document files; Web sites that contain hostile code that can infect your computer through vulnerable browsers; and unprotected fileshares. Your computer may be vulnerable to virus attacks if you are not using antivirus software and updating it regularly.
Spyware is often installed as a component of freeware programs, including some peer-to-peer (P2P) applications. Most modern antivirus programs contain mitigation technologies for spyware. To further protect yourself from spyware, be cautious when downloading freeware or accepting free downloads.
To protect your computer from malware or spyware, download free Symantec AntiVirus at https://downloads.its.psu.edu/ and be sure to set it up for automatic updates. Note that new computers often come with trial versions of antivirus software, and having two different antivirus programs installed on one computer can cause conflicts. Always uninstall the antivirus software that came on your computer before installing the Symantec software provided by Penn State. Follow the links below for instructions.