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Malicious Software: Viruses, Worms, and More

There are many types of malware (short for malicious software) out in the world right now. This is a general term used to encompass a variety of invasive and potentially damaging program code that attack your computer in different ways.

Malware can get onto your computer through many different channels. A seemingly legitimate download file could arrive with malicious software either built in or packaged with it. Clicking on a suspicious web link can bring you to a webpage that runs programs or scripts on your computer. If a USB flash drive has something infected on it, there's a possibility it will move to your machine if you plug it in.


Common Types of Malware


Common Anti-Malware Solutions

There is a plethora of different anti-virus software out on the market right now. Chances are that those of you reading this right now have an anti-virus program installed on your computer. If you don't, however, we highly recommend that you find one to install!

You may have heard of some of the big-name anti-virus software programs. Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee-Antivirus are two of the more well-known examples. Spysweeper and Kaspersky are also quite well-known, with each having its own key features. However, all of these are proprietary software, meaning that you must purchase the license in order to use it.

Sophos Anti-virus is yet another pay-to-use option. However, UCLA has a contract with Sophos that allows UCLA-affiliated staff and students to use it for free. You can go and download it here granted that you have a working Bruin OnLine account. The Biomathematics IT Office can also install it for staff upon request.


What if I don't want to pay?

Rest assured, there are some reputable and free anti-virus programs out there for you!