To keep your computer virus free, it is essential that you keep your anti-virus definitions up-to-date and also run a spyware removal program. Failure to use anti-virus and anti-spyware applications can lead to repeated infections which could lead to poor computer performance, identity theft and costly repairs.
In recent years McAfee, the former anti-virus solution for campus, had been falling behind its competitors. Starting in 2012, IT began looking at alternative solutions for both University owned computers and for home users. After comparing the available products, we have decided to implement Microsoft's security solution for both groups of machines. The existing agreement with McAfee will end on December 13th, 2013, at which point current installations will cease to update. Microsoft Security Essentials can be downloaded, free of charge, for home users at the following site: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download.
Spyware is software that gathers information about you, your browsing and Internet usage habits, as well as other data. Spyware programs can collect your personal information, install unwanted software, and change your computer's settings without your knowledge.
Adware is software that displays advertising banners, re-directs you to websites, and otherwise conducts advertising on your computer (not to be confused with popup ads, which come from the websites that you visit).
Malware is a catch-all term for various types of malicious software. Once installed on your computer, these programs can seriously affect your privacy and your computer's security. Malware includes viruses, Trojans, and worms.
Adaware, Spybot Search & Destroy and Spyware Doctor are highly reviewed free spyware and adware detection and removal tools. Each one uses a different method of identifying malignant software, so running multiple tools may result in a cleaner system.