Malware, spyware, and viruses are confusing to most people. You have probably heard of them and know they are bad for your computer, but you have no idea what they actually are. Every computer owner should know the basics of viruses, spyware and malware, including how to get rid of them. Here is the information you need to know:


Malware is a shortened term for malicious software. It's an umbrella term for all of the unwanted software put in a computer to do harm. Therefore, referring to both your virus or spyware as malware is correct.


A computer virus works much like a virus in your body. It can replicate itself to cause even more destruction. Computer viruses can also morph and hide where they are difficult to find. Common problems caused by viruses include:

  • Deleting files
  • Corrupting files
  • Using up computer memory
  • Destroying or reformatting the hard drive

The entire purpose of a virus is to destroy your computer or computer files. It is important to remove a virus as quickly as possible, or your computer can ultimately become completely destroyed.


Spyware is a type of software that has the sole purpose on spying on the computer user. The person who created the spyware can use the programs to download user data into one remote location. Spyware generally comes from a program that you installed unknowingly. For example, you download a program off of the internet, but another program installs with it. The second program includes the spyware. Spyware can steal your personal information that is in your computer such as passwords, credit card information, and sensitive files.

Malware removal

Having an anti-virus program is essential. Viruses can come from websites, e-mails, programs, and basically any thing else found on the internet. Anti-virus programs can stop many viruses from entering your computer. If a virus gets through your program, you can run a scan as often as you like to check for viruses. If you anti-virus program detects the virus, it will usually remove it automatically.

Sometimes anti-virus programs don't catch the viruses. When this happens, you can try to remove the virus manually. To do this, the first thing you want to do is shut your computer off. This way, you can turn it back on and run it in safe mode.

Next, check one of these common locations for viruses to "hide." These include the local app data, roaming app data, and program data. To find it quickly, swipe to the right of your desktop screen to bring up your search. Type in "%APPDATA%". This brings up the roaming app data. Your roaming app data folder will be full of folders with the names of applications inside of your computer. You will notice any that are full of viruses immediately because the folder name will most likely be all numbers, or a combination of random numbers and letters. Do not open the folder. Simply click on the folder and delete it, and then empty your trash can.

Next, on the top navigation bar, click on "app data" so you back out of your roaming folder. Double click on the "local" folder to enter it. If any viruses are in there, you will see the same type of folder. While viruses don't hide in "program files" as often, it does happen. Simply go to "(C:)>Program Files (x86)". Look for the same type of folder in there as you did in your app folders.

To manually uninstall spyware, simply go to "uninstall a program" and look for any program you did not install or do not use. Uninstall it and your spyware will be gone. You might want to look into your "temp" folder in "program files" to make sure there aren't any files left from the spyware program.

Malware is extremely frustrating. It is important to know how it works, what to look for, and how to remove it to keep your computer and personal information safe. The internet is useful for just about every aspect of your life, but it is also a place for cyber attackers to strike. For more information, contact a company like Isomedia, Inc.