How antivirus and antispyware help keep malware at bay

When it comes to creating Internet security threats, malware writers are masters of disguise and manipulation. They are constantly evolving their tactics to find new ways to trick PC users, steal their information, cause them financial harm.

Unfortunately, even if you’re careful to avoid questionable websites and delete spam email immediately, viruses and spyware can still find you – and infiltrate your system without your knowledge.

Just a few of the activities that allow these forms of malware to find their victims include:

  • Sharing music, files or photos with other users
  • Downloading free games, toolbars, media players and other system utilities
  • Installing mainstream software applications without fully reading license agreements
  • Visiting media-supported websites that utilize tracking cookies.

How to tell if your PC is infected

If you’re not sure whether your computer is infected with malware, Webroot suggests you keep your eyes peeled for these symptoms:

  • Sluggish performance
  • Increased number of pop-ups
  • New toolbars you can’t delete
  • Unexplained changes to homepage settings
  • Puzzling search results
  • Frequent computer crashes.