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What is a Computer Virus?
A Computer virus is malicious software or code that are usually used to destroy or damage files. Viruses spread through users transferring infected files between computer systems. There are many types of viruses with different symptoms. Some viruses are just annoying while others can do some serious damage. Don’t confuse a Virus with a Worm or Trojan.
Here’s some common symptoms of malware:
- Unwanted programs that start automatically.
- Some of your programs fail to load.
- Frequent error messages.
- Duplicated or missing files.
- Constant disk activity.
- Slow startup and performance.
- Browser home page changed.
- Unfamiliar toolbars appears in your browser.
- Unusual audio sounds.
- Random pop up messages or browser tabs open automatically.
- Unusual Network activity.
- Lack of storage space.
- Cant access important applications like Command Prompt or Task manager.
- Fake security warning messages.
- Constant system or program crashes.
- Disk drives not accessible.
Note: Some of these symptoms are not always the result of malware.
How to prevent a Computer Virus.
- Don’t click on unknown ads.
- Don’t visit torrent sites.
- Only download software from the developers site.
- Use a good anti – virus program.
- Only install one anti – virus program.
- Stay away from any type of “PC tune up” software.
- “Your PC is infected” Ignore messages like this if it is not coming from your anti – virus program.
- Make sure your anti- virus program can scan email messages.
- Don’t open email attachments or links from unknown addresses.
- Keep your friends flash drive away from your PC if your anti-virus or OS is outdated.
- Make sure all your software including the OS and browser Add-ons or plugins are updated.
- Be aware of fake download buttons, if you see one your on the wrong website.
- Use Task manager to close unknown windows.
- Use well known search engines.
Differences between Viruses, Worms and Trojans.
A virus is a self-replicating program. They usually attached itself on executable files like word processors or games. Viruses usually spread through e-mail attachments or when infected files are transferred between computers through a network or a flash drive.
Worms are self-replicating code that can spread over networks without the help of a user.
Unlike a virus, worms are capable of spreading over networks automatically. The intentions of a worm can differ from the creators but they usually spread through networks and exploit vulnerable systems.
Trojan horses are free standing software that are designed to look legit, but is written to do harm to a system. In other words, these programs are designed to do something other than what you think it’s doing. Trojans do not install or spread automatically, they also need user interaction.
Here are 3 of the best anti-virus software you can check out:
Preventing malware is much easier than removing it. Make sure you have a good anti-virus program and check regularly to make sure all your software and Operating System is updated.
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