What Are Computer Viruses And How To Combat Them

What Are Computer Viruses And How To Combat Them

Irrespective of the reason you use computers for, it is important to know what are computer viruses and how they can affect your computing experience.

Without getting into technical details, it would be prudent to describe all the different types of computer viruses as codes written with an intention to cause damage to computer software and hardware.

Majority of computer viruses are created by hackers and ex-programmers who have an in depth knowledge of computer programming languages. While some of these malicious programs are made without any intention to cause serious damage to PC users, instances of viruses wrecking havoc in computer systems and networks worldwide are not uncommon either.

How Do Viruses Spread From One Computer To Another?

Computer viruses can spread from one infected system to another in a number of ways. Earlier, general PC users did not know much about what are computer viruses and creators of these malware used physical media such as floppy or USB drives to infect PCs of other users. With advent of newer technologies and penetration of internet to remote corners of globe, their task has become a lot easier.

These days, hackers and malicious software (malware) programmers extensively use the Internet create and spread newer varieties of computer viruses worldwide. Many of them resort to email, online sales offers and social media sites to spread viruses. Other hackers try to distribute their malicious software piggybacked on useful looking software over reputed websites.

There are several signs and symptoms that makes it normally easy to detect a computer that is affected by a virus. In most of the instances, computer viruses attack the core of the operating system and cause it to malfunction. Many viruses cause sudden system crash and sluggishness as well. At times, the virus infecting a PC takes control of other apps and causes them to crash without any warning. Other computer viruses even have the capability cause damage to hardware components of your computer (e.g. like the Chernobyl virus)

How To Get Rid Of Virus Infections

Apart from knowing, what are computer viruses all PC users should learn about the weapons or tools to combat such virus intrusions. It is imperative to use at least one well-known antivirus software product with realtime protection on your PC with to keep malicious apps and viruses at bay. Make sure that your security software and its virus signatures are updated automatically to ensure best safety from newer viruses (this is most important).

Many of my customers PCs were infected just because the virus signatures of the chosen antivirus software product were out of date. Don’t rely on “No problem, I will update the signatures once a day on my own” when it comes to computer virus protection. Many antivirus software vendors provide computer virus signatures updates several times per day to their installed products and believe me if I say that even the most pedantic PC user will sooner or later neglect this important task.

Therefore if your currently installed antivirus software is not updated automatically, consider to renew your subscription or use another product which includes automatic virus signature updates.

There are several paid and free antivirus apps available with this important feature. You can go through various user and expert reviews available online and select an antimalware tool that best fits your requirements and budget.

Preventive Measures

PC users need to practice take some measures to thwart chances of virus infection. This includes dealing with unknown email attachments cautiously, minimizing usage of removable media in workplaces and using password to prevent unwanted access to their computers.


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