At some point when using computers, people find themselves asking what is a computer virus? A computer virus is a self-replicating and damaging program that can be spread from one computer to the other through a network, detachable computer devices like USB drives, floppy disks, CD or printers, or over the Internet. The spread of computer viruses has been accelerated by increased use of Internet in homes and offices over the years.
Preventing a Computer Virus
Probably one of the most common ways of preventing a computer virus from infecting your system is to avoid opening email attachments under suspicious names or from unknown sources. While this might work, there are also other ways through which computer viruses can be spread. This includes through instant messages and text-based emails, where the user can click on infected web address links in the message.
Once a virus is inside your computer system, it can attach itself to executable files within certain programs. When these programs are opened, the code of the virus executes and replicates itself. To avoid detection, most computer viruses use stealth concealing techniques that are written in their codes, which can include the ability to inhibit the existing anti-virus software.
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Precautionary Measures Against Computer Viruses
There are several precautionary measures that you can take to lower the risk of your computer system contracting virus. You can purchase anti-virus software, which is available from different vendors. This software is available for purchase and download online, allowing you to do this at your convenience.
If you feel buying is an investment you are not ready to engage in, there are also free versions of anti-virus software available online for download and installation. In order to ensure that your anti-virus software works optimally to block any virus attacks, ensure that you keep it updated at all times.
The other precautionary measure that computer users should employ is refraining from opening email attachments from suspicious sources, downloading programs from unknown sources over the internet or opening suspicious HTML links.
In the event of a virus infection, it is more than likely that some or all of your data files will be corrupted or lost. To prevent any loss of data, ensure that you regularly backup your system data and information to an external hard-drive or a disk.
Even though anti-virus software provides you with a good way of detecting whether you computer is infected or not, there are some warning signs that you can spot easily. Your computer might be infected by a computer virus if it is taking longer to perform basic operations, restarts itself, crashes or freezes frequently, does not access certain drives or discs and displays error messages.
Most anti-virus software can help clean out the virus by getting rid of the infected and corrupt files. This ensures your system is rid of the virus, and restored to its proper working condition without the risk of the virus causing more harm to your system. Now that you know the answer to what is a computer virus? and how to keep your system safe, take the necessary steps to ensure that you keep your computer system virus-free.