Answer: Malware is malicious or poorly written software.
A program might be considered malware for a number of reasons. Destructive programs, undesirable programs, viruses, spyware, adware, poorly written software (such as programs which do not free up resources on exit), programs which are known to frequently clash with other common software, and software which can not be removed by normal means.
These are just a few examples of malware.
Bottom line: If you believe that your computer might be infected, call the help desk. Don’t wait until things get worse. Your computer could become a large and expensive paperweight.