What is a computer virus and how do you contract them? Do you need to worry about it? Well, a computer virus is a bit of code or a program with the ability to self-replicate, execute without a user’s knowledge and infect files or entire operations systems, and can even transfer to other computer networks. Different types of computer viruses have different effects- so are more dangerous than others. Nonetheless, you really need to worry about these computer viruses and install the latest antivirus programs such as STOPzilla and use a firewall in order to protect your system at all times.
Why you need to worry about computer viruses
- It slows or freezes your computer: Some computer viruses self-replicate at a rapid rate and consume large chunks of system memory and hard drive space. This can potentially freeze your operating system or make your computer really slow.
- It can corrupt software programs and applications: Viruses can infect important files that are necessary to execute a particular program. The infected programs may partially function or just display a file error and not open at all. For example- a resident virus which resides in the memory can even infect an antivirus program. It can infect more files when you run a system scan using the infected antivirus program.
- It can corrupt and make system files useless: Certain types of computer viruses can overwrite or replace the contents of a file with its own code, making the original file useless. Such viruses may target and corrupt important system files and stops the entire operating system from functioning.
- It can infect the boot sector: Boot sector viruses affect the master boot sector files which are loaded on to your computer before the operating system starts. Once your boot sector is affected, the virus can also corrupt your system files and you may not be able to boot into your operating system.
- It can steal sensitive user information: Some viruses are hidden in a legitimate-looking program or application. When you install such programs, you might end up giving the hidden virus full authority to access your computer. The virus will then proceed to modify or replace files in your hard drive, track your behavior and steal your account details like usernames and passwords.
- It affects web browsing: Adware is an example of a malware that makes browsing experience very annoying for users. It automatically downloads and displays unwanted advertisements, banners and pop-ups on the user’s screen. An adware can also track user’s web browsing behavior without authorization.
With so many threats, you need to be prepared at all times and always use antivirus software such as STOPzilla to help prevent these types of infections from damaging your computer and stealing your sensitive data.