Malware, short for malicious (or malevolent) software, is software used or created by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. 'Malware' is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.

Malware is Real

You need to worry about malware if:

  1. You're ever going to connect a personal computer to a network.
  2. You're ever going to load software that you have gotten from other people onto a personal computer.

Anti-Malware Software

To protect your personal computer, UB provides Symantec Endpoint Protection antivirus software for you to download and install on your personal computer.


Given how susceptible personal computers are to malware, you're wise to err on the side of caution. But there are probably just as many hoaxes on the Internet as there are actual viruses. Hoaxes are typically e-mail messages warning about some sort of new virus, but that virus does not actually exist. When you receive e-mail describing some sort of virus, it is usually a good idea to investigate a little (use common sense or research the warning using links in the 'References' section, below) before you forward the message to all your friends and relatives.

Worldwide e-mail systems have probably had more load placed on them because of people forwarding misinformation about viruses than they have had due to email-flooding viruses like Melissa.