Computer viruses are among of the most destructive threats in the computer world. Like a real biological virus, a computer virus can connect to a computer & copy itself. Viruses can be distinguished from adware, malware, and spyware due to their replication capabilities, and should not refer to these other terms. Viruses are destructive due to the various harmful effects that can bring to your computer and your files. Data located inside a user’s computer can be damaged or inaccessible, which makes potentially valuable files useless. Worse still, a virus can completely erase the data inside the computer, all its installed programs, saved files and created folders. Another harmful effect that can be done is to spread like a real virus and infect other computers. The performance of the computer may also be slower, or its applications become inaccessible for use. It is also common to see a computer infected with the virus that hangs from time to time, restarting much to the annoyance of its user.
A virus is really a computer program in itself. Viruses are programs that must be executed and, once activated, they could write their own code in the memory of the personal computer. Most of the time, viruses can be consolidated into legitimate programs in the form of an executable file, which makes them even more dangerous since a user confuses a virus with a valid file and unknowingly activates the virus program. Among the types of media that can be attached are binary executable files, such as .exe & com files, specific auto-run script files, Word documents, spreadsheets, & database files. Viruses also take memory due to their nature as a program and occupy the space that is best used for other, more important programs.
Viruses can be spread through the use of external memory that is connected to one’s computer or through access to the Internet. These programs can make them look like harmless files, like images or videos. To combat this dangerous threat, one must install on their own personal computer an antivirus program that looks for these potentially harmful elements that then allow the user to eliminate the viruses. A good antivirus program should be able to identify existing viruses that have spread on the PC, even the well-hidden ones, and can be updated with the latest virus definitions on the World Wide Web. Depending on your use of the computer, antivirus programs can be free or at a cost. Free antivirus programs have limited capabilities & generally only have a period of time for their testing & use. Priced antivirus programs, on the other hand, generally have better or more complete and more comprehensive features in their performance as a threat detector, and are generally better supported by their software developers.