What is Malware?
Malware is a generic term for bad software. The word malware comes from the words malicious and software. Malware includes things like spyware or adware programs, such as tracking cookies, which are used to monitor your surfing habits. It also includes more sinister items, such as keyloggers, Trojan horses, worms, and viruses.
Most malware programs will reinstall themselves even after you think they have been removed. They typically hide deep within the Windows registry, making them difficult to manually remove. When this occurs, your computer may become so unstable that installing a malware removal tool may be impossible.
Anti-virus programs are good protection when kept up to date. However, they frequently miss certain types of malware, such as Trojans and spyware, so it is a good idea to run at least one anti-adware program in conjunction with anti-virus.