In its simplest terms a virus is a disruptive computer code
period! A computer virus almost always repeats itself and
spreads by attaching itself to other files. Viruses can be
made to host a number of harmful things on any computer from
disrupting files to crashing networks. It can even be laying
dormant, without you knowing it's there and then attack when
least expect it, like right in the middle of downloading a
large file or typing a long report.
It can even be made to open at a certain date, sitting like
a timebomb until it's time arrives. As you can see it can
be annoying at the very least. I do not want go into all the
different types of viruses here because there are so many
and more are being made everyday in some dank basement by
the Dark Lord. However, since so many viruses came from unknowingly
opening e-mails I would like to mention some basics here:
Never open e-mail attachments unless you know for sure who
it's from and that it's safe. Some mail programs will even
ask if you trust the attachment and if you're sure this you
want to do. Your computer software can also scan attachments
for viruses. The danger is that when the attachment is opened
the virus can attach itself to your hard drive and damage
files. Not only that, it can search your saved e-mail addresses
and send itself out to your friends, business partners and
whoever is on the list, masking the message to look like a
legitimate one from you. It will probably have an attachment
too and when opened will infect other computers.
Many people like to download music, video, games or other
programs from different sites. If it is a site you dealt with
before and trust it may be safe ok, but if you're not sure
you can always run a virus scan on the download before installation.
(You will need to check the anti-virus program that came with
your system on procedures). This security measure is necessary
because some downloads may contain virtues, spyware or adware
- these last two can collect personal information, note your
browsing habits and spam your e-mail with unwanted ads. Some
software sites will offer a readme file that shows technical
information on the download (if you like tech talk) as well
as contact info. The better sites that offer downloads will
test and scan all there software programs before going online
with it. As a last resort you can do an internet search for
reviews on that particular company to see if others got burned.
This may sound scary to some but the fact is in this world
anyone who owns a computer will have to look over there shoulders
for hidden attacks when working with online. That said there
are some things should do to prevent viruses from attacking
* Download the latest virus definition lists ( files that
tell your computer what to scan for) that's used for your
* Check to see if your internet service provider has tools
to stop viruses before they can reach your mailbox.
* Always back-up your computer on CD-R disks or other media
in case you loose some or all your data.
* You can scan software for viruses before installing it.
(See system manual for procedure)
* Set your security settings at the highest level.
* Check your web browser and e-mail settings. Doing these
things at least every week will help keep your computer up
to date on Virus protection and running safely.
About the Author
Robert is a self-taught internet entrepreneur and is the owner
and operator of http://www.fileanddatarecovery.com