Viruses and Malware

What is Malware? And Virus vs. Malware

A virus is a piece of code that is capable of copying itself in order to do damage to your computer, including corrupting your system or destroying data. Malware, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that stands for a variety of malicious software, including Trojans, spyware, worms, adware, ransomware, and yes, viruses. So the logic follows: all viruses are malware. Not all malware are viruses. Source: Malwarebytes.

What should I know?

Your computer may be infected with malware if it:

  • Slows down, malfunctions, or displays repeated error messages;
  • won't shut down or restart;
  • serves up a lot of pop-up ads, or displays them when you're not surfing the web;
  • and/or displays web pages or programs you didn't intend to use, or sends e-mails you didn't write.

What can I do?

Protect yourself from the wort-case scenerios.

Backup Your Data

Make sure you are backing up all your data to an external hard drive or to the cloud, such as; Google Drive, Crash Plan, or Drop Box. 

Update your operating system and Web browser software regularly.

Use Anti-Virus Software

USD has a comprehensive site license for Norton’s Symantec virus protection software, for Windows and Macintosh. Download it free here (MySanDiego login required): Virus Updates

Additonal Tips:

Download free software only from sites you know and trust.

Don't click on links inside pop-ups or in unsolicited e-mails.