Jan
15

Computer Viruses

Computer Viruses


In the previous post, we learned about ways in which we can prevent our emails from being hacked. Today, I’ll discuss about the various ‘computer viruses’ and how we can protect ourselves from them. First, let’s understand what exactly a virus is.
What is a computer virus?
The first of the computer viruses can be traced as early as the 1970′s. Viruses are programmed in such a way that they have specific functionality. As defined by Microsoft Security, computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation, steal data such as passwords, make you a conduit to attack other networks among many purposes of viruses. In most cases, a virus infection might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your e-mail program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.
How does a computer virus spread?
Every day we receive lots of forwarded emails from friends and relatives. In most cases, the emails we receive have attachments also. They could be images, audio or even video files. Study shows that these attached files are one of the main sources of computer viruses. When we click on them, the file is executed and the virus is thus subtly activated on the system without our knowledge.
However, it is not a general rule that all email attachments contain viruses and it is not the only way your system could be infected by viruses. Sometimes when we download free software from the internet, our system gets infected. Instant chat messages, web sites are another source of virus infection.
How to prevent virus attack on your computer?
First step in protecting yourself from viruses are to get the anti-virus software installed on your computer. The anti-virus software manufactures also release updates constantly; ensure that the updates get installed automatically. If updates are not being installed properly, having anti-virus software becomes useless. These software manufacturers release updates constantly as they find new viruses. Second step you must take in this battle is to be careful when you download an email attachment or any programs from the internet. Free programs such as screen savers, wall papers are infamous for spreading viruses. Avoid downloading this free stuff from the internet. Every time you download an attachment, either from emails received or program from the internet, scan them in advance. Never ever open attachments sent to you from persons you don’t know or from websites that cannot be trusted.
Last but not the least; make it a point to educate yourself about the latest threats reading blogs or magazine. Remember that your computer security is your responsibility alone. Your comments about this article are welcomed.

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