Malware is a general term for malicious software. This includes viruses, adware, spyware, keyloggers, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, and any other program which causes damage or poses a security threat to your computer.
A malware program can do one or several of the following:
These are signs that your computer is infected with malware:
You can also have malware on your computer without any noticeable symptoms.
If Windows won't start up, try its failsafe mode. Re-start the computer and repeatedly press F8 while it is loading, and when a menu appears select "safe mode" (detailed instructions linked below Windows XP and for Windows Vista). When Windows has started in this mode, try running a full virus scan using Kaspersky or your own anti-virus software.
Your computer is not malware-proof by default, so you need to make it more secure:
Good practice guidelines for avoiding virus infection:
Have backup copies of all your important files, as well as a Windows installation CD. In some severe cases, rebuilding the computer is the only way of dealing with the infection.
Unlike anti-virus software, it is safe to install more than one anti-spyware program on your computer. However, only some serious infections need to be dealt with using several spyware removers. If you know the name of the malware that is infecting your computer (e.g. Vundo), you can search the sites linked below for specific advice on removing the infection.
Kaspersky has an anti-spyware component, so it shouldn't be necessary to download additional anti-spyware programs. However, as it is impossible for a single program to defend against all possible spyware, in some cases it might become necessary to download additional programs.
A number of free anti-spyware programs are available. As with anti-virus software, you will need to keep these programs up-to-date and run regular scans to ensure that your computer stays free of spyware. Programs described as 'anti-spyware' will typically deal with all types of malware except viruses. However, never install a spyware removal program on your computer unless you have verified that it is genuine. Many free 'anti-spyware' tools that are advertised in pop-ups and banner ads on the internet are themselves malware, and should not be downloaded.
The following are genuine, free spyware removers available for Windows computers:
Spybot Search & Destroy
Windows Defender (Windows Vista computers come with this program already installed)
The University holds a site licence for Kaspersky, which means staff and students may install it on their personal machines free of charge. You can download the installer program from our website:
If you do not already have a virus scanner you should not connect your computer to the internet. If this is the case, please visit a University networked computer, download the program to USB stick or CD, and transfer it to your computer this way.
Kaspersky automatically works in the background, comparing anything running on your computer against a list of known viruses. Kaspersky will keep itself up to date with the latest anti-virus information and you won't need to manually update it. Apart from the automatic background scanning, a full scan combs the whole disk for viruses. You should manually start off a full scan once a week, or if you think your computer is infected.
Please visit our pages on Macintosh anti-virus software:
This article was published on Aug 5, 2010