What is Malware

Malware is any malicious piece of software that resides on a piece of electronic equipment. Anything that is running on your computer that you did not put on, or that you were tricked into installing, can be considered malware. Malware is a group term for anything malicious that can run on your computer, such as viruses, spyware, adware, trojan horses, and rootkits.

Virus: Anything that copies and duplicates itself on a hard drive.
Spyware: A program that spies on you and potentially sends information from your hard drive to remote locations.
Adware: Software that shows advertisements.
Trojan Horse: A malicious program that acts as something else to gain access to your computer.
Rootkit: Hides services at the kernel level to avoid detection.

In broader terms, malware is anything that connects to the Internet without your knowledge and approval or that displays something unintentional.