Computer Viruses

Most people will have heard the term computer virus before. Although they may not be aware of what this actually means. Even though hardware is not organic, it can still in a sense become “sick” if infected by cyber based viruses. They are dangerous programs that are designed in a way that allows them to replicate themselves, just like a living disease.

They can spread to other machines and tend to cause them to malfunction in a number of critical ways. This form of virus is known as “malicious”. This is due to the fact that its main purpose is to damage whatever computer it happens to infiltrate. Viruses are also synonymous with malware software.

The effect that this software has will vary, as there are many different types. They can slow down the performance of the computer. System crashes are another common effect. Sometimes data on the hardware can be irretrievably lost. This is perhaps the most devastating consequence of a computer virus.

The most dangerous ones will be able to hide themselves. They can remain hidden for so long that by the time they have been detected by the user, the damage has already been done. This is how they manage to spread so far: by doing so silently.

The first documented malware was created in 1981 and named Elk Cloner. Since then, millions more have been designed and released onto the internet. The main intention of most of them is to sabotage the computers that they encounter. Each year, new types of viruses are made by human designers.

Most of them tend to work by associating themselves with legitimate programs. When the safe program is run, it causes the virus to be activated as well. This means that a computer user could potentially click start on malware without realising it.

There are several methods by which a virus will enter a computing system. Email attachments are common in this regard. A recipient of the malicious email could download the file and inadvertently contaminate their hardware. For this reason, it is essential that people only download files that they know to be safe.

A user may also pick up a virus while visiting a malicious website. It can be difficult to tell which sites are safe to access. This is why it is important to have reliable software in place that can detect dangerous web pages and inform the user.