Ever had your computer infected with a Virus , or have you heard your Friend / Family Member say that “My Computer has been infected by a virus?”
You might be wondering what is a computer virus? How do you know your computer is infected, and what next steps should you take in case your computer is infected by a virus.
This article will answer all of your burning questions on computer viruses. I am going to explain to you all about computer viruses, how they infect your computer, safety precautions, and where to seek help.
Let us get started.
A Computer Virus is a piece of unwanted software or executable code , that illegally installs itself on your computer and can cause damage to both your computer and personal files.
A computer virus attaches itself to legitimate programs like a media player, or other software, and runs itself when these software start themselves up.
Major Sources of Computer Viruses
You might be wondering where computer viruses come from, even though you have taken most precautionary measures against them. The major source of computer viruses are:
- Email Messages : Email messages are the most popular and widespread medium that computer viruses are being transmitted. This is because emails look innocent. Things to look out for are emails promising you to have won some lottery, free items, or to download a free copy of a premium software. Opening this Emails and downloading the attachments will easily get your computer infected.
- Internet Downloads: The internet has many websites, and all of them are not trustworthy. Sometimes you might visit file sharing sites and download software/movies etc. These downloads are sometimes bundled with viruses, and after opening them, the virus will install itself on your computer.
- Flash Disk / Removable Storage : plugging in a USB flash drive from unknown sources puts your computer in great danger of being infected with viruses, since the USB flash drive may be carrying a virus from another computer, which will infect your computer once the disk is opened.
What Damages / Effects Can Viruses cause on my Computer
A virus code / program does two fundamental things when it runs, these are:
- Find other executable legitimate programs and copy itself to them
- Execute the virus payload – which can be whatever harmful effect it was intended for or upload your data to a specific server. The possibilities of a virus payload are limitless
- Corrupt and/or Erase your computer files and other types of data such as media files (photos, songs etc)
- Cause your computer programs to crash more often
- Considerably degrade the speed and performance of your computer
- Damage your computer hardware e.g crash your computer hard drive, change your computer BIOS settings, etc
Computer viruses can indeed be very harmful. Next, let us look at basic tips to help you protect yourself and where to seek help should your computer be infected by a computer virus.
Safety Tips : How to Avoid Virus Infections
- Know How Viruses Operate: Most virus infection do start with either downloading files from an unknown source, or clicking something suspicious that you should not have. Avoiding these will greatly minimize the risk of having your computer infected.
- Install an Antivirus Program: An antivirus software is a must have. Antivirus software’s purpose is to act as your computer guard, and to recognize, prevent and block viruses and malicious programs before they run and infect your computer. Make sure to regularly update your antivirus program to keep the latest definitions and top protection.
- Do not run executable files that you have downloaded from unknown source . If you must run it, then make sure your thoroughly scan the file(s) with your antivirus software.
- Do not Open Email attachments from unknown sources.
- Important Computer settings: Make sure your computer’s built-in firewall is turned on. This will prevent some types of computer virus infections especially via LAN.
Following these important recommendations will help protect your computer against Virus infections.
My Computer has been Infected, what steps should I take?
In the unfortunate event that your computer has been infected by computer viruses, and has received considerable damage to both your files and operating system, it is highly recommended that you seek the Services of a Computer Repair Professional.
If you happen to be in or around Rhode Island, then you can have your computer cleaned by our RI Virus removal specialists here at Southern New England Computer Services. Our team will ensure that you computer is rid of all infected viruses, and additionally provide additional mechanisms so that your computer is better safeguarded against viruses in the future.
Hurry, and Get your computer cleaned by RI Computer Repair professionals.