Malware Infection ….

A malware infection can refer to any number of malicious forms of software or code that have intentionally been designed to perform one or more of the following malicious acts:

Infiltrate a users computer system without their consent.
Collect sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, birth dates or passwords.
Create ‘back doors’ or remote entry points to enable hackers access to your system.
The destruction of critical data and/or corruption of system files.
Malware is a general term and is commonly used to include, Viruses, Worms, Spyware, Trojan Horses, and some forms of Adware. The actual intention of malware can vary but by definition it is any software that is destructive by nature. Because the term Malware is so broad it is hard to site one specific source for the most infections.

Symptoms of Infection:
Very sluggish computer performance.
Computer randomly lockups or crashes.
Browser redirection – you are taken to websites you were not searching for while browsing the Internet.
Excessive number of popup windows appearing at random while surfing the Internet.
You are informed that your system has ‘hundreds’ of active infections and you are redirected to a website that insists you pay for and download their specific software package to remove the infections.

There are many good anti-virus / anti-spyware products on the market designed to detect and remove these types of infections. McAfee and Kapersky are good but AVG and Avast! have similar products and offer a free downloadable version. Be sure to complete a ‘Full’ system scan and quarantine and remove all active infections. Configure your anti-virus software to perform ‘active’ scanning or real-time system monitoring.

Do not install software you have downloaded from the Internet unless it has come from a known, reliable source.
Use caution if using file sharing platforms such as LimeWire or torrent sites to download files.
Do not open any email attachments from unknown sources.
Use a good anti-virus/anti-spyware application and scan your system at least weekly. Be sure your anti-virus software is totally up to date with the latest virus definitions.

For Windows users: Be sure to visit the Microsoft update site and download all the latest Microsoft security patches.