Computer Viruses – An Overview


Cyber Attack

Many people spend a lot of time on the Internet, it is fun and informative. However it can pose numerous risks for people who surf it, who might soon be working on the problem of computer virus removal, which can range from an annoyance to loss of important data, because web pages can contain malevolent code that, when executed, can damage your computer.

Irrespective of the time spent online you are vulnerable to those computer viruses. If you suspect you have been infected what do you do? Basically you need to determine what you are infected with and then do your research to find the best tools to rid yourself of the virus. Inside this site you will find information on various threats, like spyware, Trojans and viruses. Firstly let’s look at what a virus is, and then we will move onto how to remove a virus from a computer…

What is a computer virus?

We all heard the word “computer virus”, or just “virus”. Some of us have even encountered one or more of these malicious computer programs. However, what exactly is a computer virus? A computer virus is a malicious computer program that can copy itself on a computer and infect it.

This is done without permission from the owner. There are a number of other categories of computer programs that are erroneously called viruses, like spyware, malware, adware, worms, the Trojan horse, rootkits, etc. However, a true virus can only spread if its host is taken to another computer. Viruses can be sent over the Internet or a network, or on floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, or USB drives.

A list of potential computer virus carriers

There are a lot of potential virus carriers available. We will list the most important ones below:

  • .bat files – files that have a .bat extension
  • Microsoft Office files – virtually any file produced by MS Office
  • Email attachments – be very careful when opening attachments
  • .exe files – any file with a .exe extension
  • Image files – any image file (jpg, gif, png, etc) can contain one or more viruses
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Hard Disks

The list can go on. Therefore, as you can see, although it was created with the best intentions in mind, the Internet is far from being a safe place. You never know how a virus gets on-board. Once it infects a PC, it is generally very hard to get rid of and the removal of such can become a huge issue if unprepared. You might even be forced to manually remove registry entries – a very dangerous action even for experts! So it is vital that you install a good antivirus in your computer…

Important facts about computer viruses

Many people are unaware of some simple facts about computer viruses and the like. For example, these computer programs need to have permission to execute code and write to memory in order to replicate themselves. This is why many of these malicious programs attach themselves to executable files (.exe) and infect the machine when the user runs the executable.

There are two types of PC viruses: resident and non-resident. When run, a resident virus loads itself into memory and transfers control to the host program. Non-resident viruses start searching for a new host immediately after being run. We can expand on this subject but we would be going into some very technical details.

Security issues

If you are reading this, it means that your computer is, or was, connected to the Internet or to a local area network. This means you are, or were, very vulnerable to computer viruses. If you do not have proper protection (antivirus, firewall, etc), it might be too late, so it is important to understand the methods used to remove most computer viruses.

The first thing you should do is install a good security suite containing a firewall and an antivirus. There are a lot of these suits from different antivirus companies, you will find two software pack reviews on this site, we recommend Avast and AVG. Although it will cost you some money, you must have one of them! Please note that having more than one antivirus or firewall installed can lead to errors and security breaches.

The second thing to do is initiate a full scan of your computer. Make sure you remove all the malicious programs you find! Go to this page learn How to Remove a Computer Virus and follow the guide.

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