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Computer Viruses” are one of the most confusing problems of the average user. People tend to lump together all sorts of computer malfuntiions and call them a virus. In fact, the term “virus” can refer to several types of malfunctions of your computer and each has a specific name. This piece is the first of several articles in which I will discuss various malfunctions that can effect your computer and how to deal with them.

“Viruses” can be broken down into different catagories. Each has it’s own way of effecting your computer and may be gotten in a different way. Some of the computer malfunctions are really not, per say, viruses like Trojan Horses, or Worms. However, whether it is a virus, a Trojan Horse or a worm, most of the time it comes onto your computer over the internet.

What exactly is a Virus? Simply stated it usually is a program that can copy itself and infect a computer without the permission or knowlege of the user. They can even mutate the more they infect additional computers. This is why some viruses are hard to block or guard against. Hackers develop programs which can by-pass the type of virsus blocking software that you might have on your computer. Most true viruses need a host to be transfered where as Worms and Trojan Horses can be spread without being part of a host. No matter what it is, a virus, a worm, or a trojan horse, they initially seem harmless.

First Rule of Thumb, don’t download any attachment in an email or World Wide Web Messeage from someone you don’t know. Some viruses can damage your computer and it may take a professional to remove it. Some can even look into your personal data and can gain access to your personal files to steal your identity.

Pc Magazine has an interesting article on the I Luv You virus. With Valentines Day coming up…..it’s a good one to review. We always tend to think….this won’t happen to me…but check out what happened to this company which has lots of computer engineers working for them.

Next blog we’ll discuss ways of prevention. Until then, watch what you download to your computer.

Posted on January 11th, 2008 at 07:33 by Alex Smith in computer security - Comments (0)

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