What is a computer virus?
Computer Viruses, Adware and Spyware, are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and interfere with normal computer operation.
What do computer viruses do?
Through the course of using the Internet and your computer, you may have come into contact with one or more computer viruses. Many computer viruses are stopped before they can start, but many get through your antivirus – mainly because the vast majority of computer viruses on the internet mask themselves as legitimate – trustworthy names – hence fooling the user to allow them through.. Once in your computer, a computer virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, and/or use your email program to further spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.
Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in email messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open email attachments unless you know who it’s from and you are expecting it. Viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files.
Computer viruses also spread through download from the web. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or programs you might download – this is especially true for “free” downloads.
To help avoid computer viruses, it’s essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates, and antivirus software, stay informed about recent threats, and that you follow a few basic rules while surfing on the web, download files, and open attachments.
Once a virus is on your computer, its type or the method it used to get there is not as important as removing it as soon as possible to prevent further infection.
On average, once a computer is infected with one single virus, if left infected, will have 100+ viruses after only one week and over 500 after only one month from the initial infection.