Anti-malware tools are tools that attempt to prevent, detect, and remove, all types of malware.
In the past tools have differentiated between classes of malware such as viruses and spyware. You would need a separate utility for each: one anti-virus program, and another anti-spyware.
Viruses and spyware and other forms of malicious software are all taking on each others characteristics to the point where the distinction between them is not only difficult to characterize, but ultimately not useful. They’re all bad.
Hence the term malware, to refer to all forms of malicious software, and the migration of security software targeted at a particular class of threat in to more all-encompassing anti-malware tools.« Back to Glossary Index