There are many different types of computer viruses. Before we go into them, let us begin with a basic introduction. A computer virus is a type of malicious software or code that copies itself and corrupts system files. It can spread to other computers through removable media, email attachments, or by downloading infected files from the internet. A virus can also infect a computer by running an infected program.
Some viruses are designed to damage the computer by deleting files, formatting the hard drive, or causing the computer to crash.
Others are designed to steal sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Still, others are designed to send spam or display advertising on the infected computer.
Most viruses are harmless and merely annoy the user by displaying messages or pop-ups. However, some viruses can be extremely harmful and even destructive. The most destructive viruses are known as Worms.
Computer viruses are usually written by someone with malicious intent. However, sometimes they are created unintentionally by programming errors.
What are the different types of computer viruses?
There are many different types of computer viruses, and new ones are being created all the time. Some of the most common types include:
Boot Sector Viruses: These viruses infect the boot sector of a hard drive or floppy disk. When the computer attempts to boot up from the infected disk, the virus is loaded into memory and executed. This type of virus is relatively rare.
File Infector Viruses: These viruses infect executable files, such as .exe or .com files. When the infected file is run, the virus is loaded into memory and executed. The virus then infects other executable files on the computer.
MACRO Viruses: These viruses infect documents that use macro commands, such as Microsoft Word or Excel documents. When the infected document is opened, the virus is executed and can infect other documents on the computer.
Multipartite Viruses: These viruses infect both executable files and boot sectors. They are difficult to detect and remove because they reside in two separate places on the infected computer.
Polymorphic Viruses: These viruses change their appearance or code in order to avoid detection by antivirus software.
Stealth Viruses: These viruses use techniques to hide from antivirus software.
Trojan Horses: These are programs that appear to be benign but are actually malicious. They can be used to steal sensitive information or damage the computer.
Viruses are often spread unintentionally by users who share infected files or removable media, such as USB drives. They can also be spread intentionally by attackers who want to cause harm or steal information.
How do people protect themselves?
Users can protect their computers from viruses by using antivirus software and keeping it up-to-date. Antivirus software scans files and programs on the computer for viruses and removes them. It can also block infected files and programs from running.
Users should also be cautious about downloading files from the internet and opening email attachments. It is important to note that antivirus software cannot protect a computer if the user downloads and runs an infected file.
It is important to have a backup of the antivirus software in case it needs to be reinstalled because some viruses are designed to disable antivirus software.
Users should also create regular backups of their important files. This way, if their computer is infected with a virus, they can restore their files from the backup.
What to do if infected?
If you find out you have a computer virus, you should take the following steps:
- Do not panic
- Download and run a trusted antivirus program
- Update your operating system and security programs
- Back up your important files
- Reformat your hard drive (as a last resort)