Computer viruses are nasty things that can do all sorts of damage to your computer. They can destroy RAM, slow connections, and lots of other stuff. Although, they are very harmful, they can be stopped and defeated with anti-virus protection.
What is a computer virus? A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself onto your computer without your consent, and it does so in a manner that you won’t even know about it. There are literally thousands of viruses known to the computer world that can infect your computer.
What can viruses do? Viruses are very contagious. They can be sent to other computers with many different methods. They can infect you through the World Wide Web, email, file sharing and by other means. If you have a bunch of computers connected together through a network, and one of those computers gets infected, the virus can copy itself and infect every computer on the network. Also, viruses can be saved onto CDs, flash-drives, floppy disks, and other internal input devices. They can really mess up your system in various ways such as the deletion of important and unimportant files, the damaging of your computer programs, and even reformatting the hard disk. There are also other viruses that are not meant to do harm to your system such as sending and replicating a message, a picture, or a video. The only real harm these viruses will cause you is possible slowness and waste of your memory. These viruses can prove to be a nuisance and pain in the neck to remove. Thank goodness we have anti-virus protection, or our computers would be a haven for unwanted viruses, and there would be nothing we could do to stop them.
What is the history of viruses? The first PC virus was created over 20 years ago. The virus is much older that its younger brother spyware. It was created in 1986, and it was called Brain. Its creators were two Pakistani brothers, Basit, and Amojad Faroog Alvi. They created the virus as a way to track down all their pirated software they had written. Viruses have evolved since then. The 80s where a time when personal computers started to be used in a serious way. When virus trouble occurred in these days, they were mostly infected with boot-sector viruses.
A boot sector virus is a virus that can be stored on an external device, and would infect the computer when it is booted up. But, the most common virus that infected computers in the 90s was the macro- virus. The macro-virus is transmitted using mostly Microsoft Excel and Word and other such programs. It is sometimes undetectable by some anti-virus programs.
Now that we know our enemy, let’s learn how to exterminate it. There are two main ways.
The first way is to use anti-virus computer software to search all your external devices, such as USB ports, CD drives and the hard disk. They will also search your RAM and boot sectors. Also, some viruses leave certain traces, or “signatures.” This particular software will search for all these signatures and eliminate the files. This is the easiest and most popular type of program used. Unfortunately, it does have its limits. It will only detect and eliminate viruses on its list. Your computer will be vulnerable to every virus produced after your software has been produced, or since the latest update. So having modern and updated anti-virus software is essential.
The second way is to use heuristic algorithm. This method detects viruses with common behaviors. This method doesn’t have to be updated all the time.
So always try to get the most recent and updated anti-virus protection program or your computer will be like a dumb, deaf, guard dog that can’t smell.