malware information to know

Malware - includes the class of programs known as viruses, spyware, and trojans - those programs which install with or without your permission.  Even if you don't accept them they can use browser security holes to install surreptitiously.

They can also arrive via E-mail and Instant Messenging programs, peer file sharing programs such as Limewire.  They can be hidden in video codecs, small helper programs which render a video, which can be posted on Youtube, Google Videos,, and pornographic websites.   Viruses can infect an entire local network, infecting operating and program files.  Trojans can turn your PC into a Zombie, making it participate in distributing Spam or attacking a website for political or criminal intent.

Trojans can record keystrokes, including passwords.  A particular variety of Trojan, called a mutating Trojan, has the ability to disguise and rename itself so the removal of this type of Trojan can be extremely difficult, if not impossible.  Some malware can hide itself in a rootkit making traditional security programs all but blind to its payload.

End users can sometimes successfully remove spyware and adware - the free version of from Malwarebytes is a good start.  If adware removal is unsuccessful, the trial version of Sunbelt Software's Counterspy ($30 US) is an excellent package.   PCNS also likes Super Antispyware.  Super Antispyware has a limited version which can remove spyware.  Generally speaking, these standalone packages do a better job a detecting and removal then a "all in one" Internet security package.   Many times multiple packages have to be installed and run (one at a time) to detect and remove tenacious malware.