Malware and Spyware
In addition to threats to your computer from viruses and Trojan horses, your computer security and privacy are at risk in other ways when you connect to the Internet. Two of these risks are programs called malware and spyware.
What are malware and spyware?
Programs such as malware and spyware are installed on your computer—typically without your knowledge—to gather and refer information about you to advertisers and other interested parties. Malware and spyware can be easily installed when you access certain Web sites or download certain programs (e.g., file sharing programs). These programs do a number of things besides gathering information about you. For example, they can
- slow down your computer,
- slow down the campus network,
- significantly increase unwanted pop-up windows, and
- cause your browser to open to a different or undesirable Web site (called "hijacking").
A number of free programs are available to help you prevent malware and spyware from infecting your computer as well as programs to detect and remove malware and spyware from your computer. Check the links below for more information about these programs for Windows-based computers: