What is a Computer Virus?
The internet is flooded with malware-malicious software. Malware is programs or code, generally created to damage devices, files, and to steal data. The most common types of malware are viruses, trojan horses, worms, and spam.
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.
Understanding the different types of malware may help you protect your computer and data.
Here is 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 start-up and performance.
- Browser home page changed.
- Unfamiliar toolbars appear in your browser.
- Unusual audio sounds.
- Experience problems shutting down your computer.
- Random pop up messages or browser tabs open automatically.
- Unusual Network activity.
- Lack of storage space.
- Can’t access important applications like Command Prompt or Task manager.
- Fake security warning messages.
- Constant system or program crashes.
- Your browser redirects and open unwanted pages.
- Disk drives not accessible.
Note: Some of these symptoms are not always the result of malware.
How to prevent a Computer Virus.
- Do not click on unknown ads.
- Do not visit torrent sites.
- Only download software from the developer’s 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.
- Do not 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- Keep your friends flash drive away from your PC if your anti-virus or OS is outdated.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, you’re on the wrong website.
- Use Task manager to close unknown windows.
- Use well known search engines.
Basic Differences between Viruses, Worms and Trojans.
Computer viruses are often confused with worms and trojan horses. A virus is a self-replicating program. It usually attache 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. Viruses attached to programs or files will remain dormant (inactive). In order for the virus to activate, you need to execute (run) the infected program first.
Worms are self-replicating code that can spread over networks without the help of a user. Unlike a virus, worms can spread 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.
>> You May Like: What is a network firewall