What is a Computer Virus?

Computer viruses are very common and unfortunately among the nastiest types of malware that can infect a computer. Not only can a computer virus do significant damage. Because of the way how some computer viruses are designed, they can be difficult to detect and even more difficult to remove when your computer is infected. Learn what a computer virus is here in this post.

WHAT IS A COMPUTER VIRUS?

A computer virus is a type of malicious software program (“malware”) that is written to alter the way how a computer operates. Many times, a computer virus will cause some type of damage such as destroying data, spying on your activities and steal your information for fraudulent purposes. Computer viruses got their name because they work similar like a flu virus. They can spread and reproduce once a computer is infected and then infect an entire network and other computers. Once infected with a computer virus, they can be rather difficult to get rid of.

HOW DOES A COMPUTER VIRUS WORK?

One big problem with computer viruses can be that an infection can happen without you knowing about it. The virus may attach to a program but then lay dormant and undetected until you run the program. Some viruses may have special instructions so they would only execute under certain circumstances or at certain dates.

Once the computer virus has infected your computer, it can infect other computers from within your network. Depending on the severity and particular type of virus, some may only cause nuisances such as displaying popups and ads while other types can be much more dangerous. They can destroy data, steal passwords and email addresses or can possibly take over your entire computer for malicious purposes like spam and hacking attempts.

HOW DOES A COMPUTER VIRUS SPREAD?

Computer viruses exist for a long time already, even before the internet. Back in those days, it could happen that you obtained software that was infected from a CD or floppy disk. With basically everyone connected to the internet today, viruses have it even easier to spread and can quickly find computers that they can infiltrate.

Viruses are spread through file downloads from the internet, malicious emails or text messages or when you visit shady websites. Viruses can also at times be attached to seemingly harmless content such as images or music files that you download from the internet.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST A COMPUTER VIRUS?

The first advice that can help minimize your risk for a computer virus infection is that you should be careful when surfing the internet. Don’t download files from shady websites and don’t open suspicious email attachments.

However, just being careful is not enough. For good protection from computer viruses you need a reliable anti-virus software program. Modern anti-virus software can not only scan your computer and find and eliminate a potential computer virus infection. They can also help get rid of viruses which would otherwise be almost impossible to do.

For maximum safety and protection from computer viruses, nothing can be better than a modern paid anti-virus software!