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Computer Viruses Demystified

A computer virus is a code that piggybacks on another program or document and then replicates itself or carries out instruction programmed by the author of that virus.

Computer viruses became infamous during the early ’90’s with the widespread availability and use of PC’s. In those days subscribers could dial into a Bulletin board and download documents or programs as desired. Yet, some of those computer downloads came at a price — a computer virus.

An unsuspecting user would open a document or launch a program and inadvertently launched the virus as well. The virus would then replicate itself indefinitely or wait for an event to “trigger” its attack. This could be a simple as putting a smiley face on a desktop to wiping out its entire hard drive.

They have grown to be a larger threat today. A common variant of a computer virus called Worm can penetrate security flows in an operating system or a network and overwhelm it bringing operations to a crawl or even stop them.

Considering the immense havoc that can be wrought by computer viruses, a whole industry exists to contain this threat in form of anti-virus software and internet security services.

3 Ways to Protect Your PC

A. Install a Firewall:

A firewall will prevent unauthorized persons or hackers from having easy access to your computer. If they have access, they could upload and download programs, steal your personal information or wipe out your drives.

B. Install Operating System Updates:

Most OS manufacturers, including Microsoft, may send you periodic updates. These have specific uses — improving your system performance; addressing compatibility issues; and above all, patching up security flaws in the system not detected earlier. Installing these updates removes quite a few security issues for the end-user.

C. Install an Anti-Virus Software:

As computer viruses have grown exponentially, so has the software to keep them at bay. Both online and real-world markets are awash with myriad software to protect your computer. Installing a good anti-virus program on your computer can greatly reduce the headaches and frustration that follow a typical computer virus attack. They can detect, remove or quarantine viruses and thus keep your PC running smoothly.

If you think your computer is infected, there are many online resources that can be downloaded at an affordable price to protect your PC. Some online anti-virus protection software. Some of them offer a free scan to check for viruses as well.

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