A dedicated computer virus is a kind of program or code that is maliciously written and designed to change the way in which a device operates.
Part of its design features the ability to spread out from one device to another. Computer viruses operate by attaching or inserting themselves within a document or program equipped to support macros, and rely on this to execute their insidious code. During this process, a computer virus can potentially cause effects that are both unexpected and able to inflict damage. An example of this is harming crucial system software by destroying or corrupting data.
How do computer viruses attack?
After successfully attaching itself to a file, program or document, computer viruses will remain dormant, that is until certain circumstances drive the device to activate them and execute their code. For devices to be infected by a virus, users must be fooled into executing an infected program, this will then cause the virus’s code to run.
Effectively, this means a lethal virus can stay hidden on your computer, while displaying no major signs of its presence. However, after the infection runs on your device, the computer virus can spread to any other computers connected to the same network. Corrupting files, logging user keystrokes, stealing sensitive information or spamming contact lists are just a handful of unwanted activities viruses can perform. Certain types of virus can even enable threat operators to seize control of your computer’s functions.
The impact viruses can have will depend on how they were designed. While some have been created for mischief, others are far more harmful and can wreak havoc at your enterprise, damaging data or stealing funds.
How can viruses spread?
In the ever-increasing connectivity of our world, a computer virus can be contracted in a wide range of ways, although some are more straightforward than others. Computer viruses can spread out via test messages and emails, secreted in attachments. They can also infect online downloads and even scam links posted on social media. This means that along with desktop computers, mobile personal devices such as smartphones can also become infected with viruses included in unsafe application downloads. Computer viruses can be hidden with what appears like harmless digital content that is designed to be exceptionally shareable, such as amusing pictures, video and audio files.
What indicators suggest your device is infected with a computer virus?
Once a computer virus has been unwittingly executed on your device, it may display a variety of different symptoms that might tip you off. Alterations to your chosen homepage and constant crashes are both signs you’ve got a virus onboard. Frequently experiencing pop-ups that try and tempt your into visiting sites, or to download software or antivirus tools, can be other signs of infection, as can slow performance and emails being sent from your account without your authorisation.
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