Malware stands for malicious software, that is, software that is designed to either compromise your information or to perform an action the creator wants. They can take many forms and have many different functions, but at their base they all have the same goal: to intrude on your experience and do something to your computer that you do not want.

Spyware is a type of software that spies on your actions, it can send you popups, redirect you to websites, or in extreme cases track your typing.

Types of malware and spyware can do the following:

  • Can lock your computer so you cannot use it
  • Can spy on your actions and steal important information
  • Encrypt your data to extort money out of you (NEVER pay them!)
  • Can delete your data
  • Can monitor the websites you visit

To prevent these things from happening it's suggested that you use a malware or spyware prevention program. The type of program you should use depends on how you use your computer and what kinds of websites you visit. 

For more information on Spyware, visit CISA's webpage on the subject. For Malware, here is CISA's webpage about that.

Computer Link Northwest also offers licensing options for Malware Bytes and Avast.