Computer viruses can destroy files and programs, and they can wreak havoc with your life. People have a lot of questions pertaining to computer viruses, and rightly so. Here are the top 5 most asked questions about computer virus, according to the search engines.
- How can I check if I have computer viruses?
An antivirus program is the best way to scan your computer, and there are many top-rated programs available, including Symantec, Trend Micro, Kaspersky,and MSE. For protection against computer viruses, you can choose your level of security, ranging from a bare-bones antivirus program to a comprehensive antivirus suite. If you’re working within a tight budget, check out free online virus scanners that get the job done.
- How can I prevent computer viruses?
There are many ways to keep your computer virus free, but you have to be vigilante. While most antivirus programs schedule regular scans for viruses and malware, you should be careful NOT to:
– Mindlessly click on links that warn you have a virus needing immediate attention
– Unknowingly accept additional programs when you download one you want
– Download software from a questionable source, without scanning for spyware
– Open emails and attachments you were not expecting, even from friends
- Is there just one main virus that infects my computer?
No, there are thousands and thousands of malicious software threats circulating every year, which fall into three categories: viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. They behave differently, but all stem from the same instructions. A virus attaches itself to a program or file, but it needs to be spread by human action, such as running an infected program; a worm is similar but needs no help to get around; and a Trojan horse fools the user into thinking they are installing legitimate software.
- Who creates computer viruses, and why?
Anyone from experienced hackers to whiz-kid children can create and program viruses. They are typically males between 14 and 25 years old; female virus writers are extremely rare. Most viruses are designed to either destroy computer files, or to steal financial information, and 70% of the creators work for organized crime syndicates.
- How long have computer viruses been around?
Believe it or not, computer viruses has been circulating since before the internet existed. The very first malicious virus was called the Creeper Virus, and it was detected in the early 1970s on the ARPANET system, the precursor of the internet. The self-replicating virus was written by a hacker at BBN industries in 1971. The most destructive and powerful computer virus ever created was the Melissa virus, which was launched in March 1999 and spread so quickly that even Microsoft was forced to turn off its entire email system until Melissa could be successfully removed.