Q

The difference between antivirus and antispyware/malware software

Windows security threat expert Kevin Beaver provides a thorough description of the differences between antivirus and antispyware/malware software.

Could you give me a thorough description of the difference between antivirus software and antispyware/malware software? How do I know if what is infecting my computer is a virus or spyware/malware?
Generally speaking, antivirus software can search for and protect against viruses, worms, and Trojans. Antispyware is usually a separate piece of software that searches for and protects against pesky pop-ups that install spyware, potentially dangerous cookies, Windows registry entries, etc. Both are needed to adequately protect a Windows system and you'll need to install/run both to search for pests that may be causing you problems.

Click here to view questions and answers from all of our Windows security experts.

This was first published in April 2006

Dig deeper on Network intrusion detection and prevention and malware removal

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchWindowsServer

SearchExchange

Close