Tech

What Is a Computer Virus?

What you need to know about computer virus types

Computer viruses, like regular viruses, are a type of program that attaches to a host to replicate and spread an infection. Computer viruses can be created by anyone with the right skills, from individuals to large organizations, and can infect computers, smartphones, tablets, and even smart cars.

Confusion in the definition of computer viruses

The term “computer virus” is often misused as a generic term for suspicious programs, plug-ins, or code that infect software, computers, and files. The misuse of this phrase is probably because it is so well known to the general public that it is frequently used in television shows and movies such as the Star Trek and Terminator series.

In fact, the correct general term for this type of malware is malware, and the computer virus category is just one type.

Other types of malware include spyware, worms, and Trojan horses.

Basically, computer viruses are a type of malware that is installed on a device and replicates itself.

Some viruses are designed to steal or corrupt data, while others are designed to destabilize programs or systems and potentially make them unusable. Others were created for fun by the programmer and can only display images or text messages after the computer is turned on or the application is opened.

It is not technically classified as a computer virus unless it is designed to replicate and spread malicious programs that infect the host, but it can be dangerous.

Various types of computer viruses

Many different types of viruses are generally categorized based on target and function, not on how they were created or their coding style. Many computer viruses can be divided into multiple categories.

Here are some common examples of computer viruses:

  • Browser hijacker viruses: These computer viruses infect web browsers and are often used to modify homepages, steal data and display advertisements.
  • Boot Sector Viruses: These are known to infect hard drive boot sectors as well as disks used to help boot the system.
  • Direct-acting virus: These viruses are launched by opening the downloaded file or program.
  • Email virus: These emails are designed to grow by attaching to emails, composing emails using rosters, and infecting email apps to steal data.
  • Macro virus: Macro computer virus is encoded in the macro language, so you can insert it into a document and activate it as soon as you open the attachment.
  • Polymorphic virus: A type of computer virus that can modify itself to prevent detection by security systems and antivirus programs.
  • Resident virus: Embedded files infect the operating system and run continuously in the background, negatively impacting system and application performance.
  • Non-resident virus: These types of viruses close after work.

How do I know if my computer is infected with a virus?

Many computer viruses remain hidden on the device, but there are some obvious behaviors that may indicate that you are the victim of the infection, such as a significant slowdown in system speed, mysterious changes in system settings and applications. I have. If you can’t log in or open a service or app you don’t own, a browser extension or add-on installed without permission, or a particular program.

Fortunately, there are several ways to check if your device is infected with a computer virus.

How to protect your computer from viruses?

It is important to implement different strategies to protect your computer and other smart devices from viruses and other types of malware.

Here are some of the best ways to protect your computer:

  • Keep your operating system and applications up to date: This makes it harder for the virus to infect your device.
  • Connect only to a trusted internet connection: This also protects you from other types of attacks, such as ARP spoofing.
  • Avoid suspicious attachments: Never open email attachments from unknown senders as they may contain malware and other viruses.
  • Download files only from official websites and trusted sources: Downloading files from unknown websites is always risky. Downloads may look legitimate, but avoid downloading unless they are from a well-known source.
  • Install antivirus software: High quality antivirus package helps to get rid of viruses on your computer and protect them from future infections.

The best antivirus software for 2022

Computer viruses are annoying and, in the worst case, extremely dangerous. However, you can protect yourself from them by taking appropriate precautions and, if necessary, fighting them if they become infected.

FAQ

  • Is PUP a computer virus?

    PUP stands for Potentially Unwanted Program and is a program that does not specifically approve downloads to computers. PUP viruses are usually small programs embedded in software that can invade in the form of adware, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, or other malicious software.

  • What is Zeus Computer Virus?

    The Zeus virus is one of the first malware detected in 2007. It targets Microsoft Windows and is often used to steal financial data. Also known as Zbot, Zeus Gameover, Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.


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What Is a Computer Virus?

What you need to know about the types of computer viruses

A computer virus is a type of program that, much like a regular virus, attaches itself to a host with the intention of multiplying and spreading its infection further. Computer viruses can be created by anyone with the proper skill set, from individuals to major organizations, and can infect computers, smartphones, tablets, and even smart cars.

Computer Virus Definition Confusion

The term “computer virus” is often used incorrectly as an umbrella term to refer to all suspicious programs, plugins, or code that infect software, computers, and files. This misuse of the phrase is likely due to it being so well-known by the general population due to its frequent use in TV shows and movies such as the Star Trek and Terminator franchises.

In reality, the correct umbrella term for such malicious software is malware, of which the computer virus category is just one type.

Other types of malware include spyware, worms, and Trojans.

Basically, computer viruses are a kind of malware that install themselves on a device and multiply.

Some viruses are designed to steal or corrupt data while others are created to destabilize a program or system and potentially make it unusable. Others are simply made for fun by the programmer and may just display an image or text message after a computer is turned on or an app is opened.

If the malware that’s infected a host hasn’t been designed to multiply and spread, it technically isn’t classified as a computer virus regardless of how dangerous it is.
Different Types of Computer Viruses

The many different types of viruses are usually categorized by what they target and how they function, rather than their creation process and coding style. Many computer viruses can fall under more than one category.

Here are some common computer virus examples:

Browser hijacker viruses: These computer viruses infect your web browser and are often used to change your Home page, steal data, and display ads.
Boot sector viruses: These are known to affect disks used to assist in a system boot up in addition to the boot sector of the hard drive.
Direct action viruses: These viruses are activated by opening a downloaded file or program.
Email viruses: These emails are designed to multiply by attaching themselves to emails, generating emails by using your address book, or infecting the email app with the intention of stealing data.
Macro viruses: Macro computer viruses are coded in a macro language so that they can be attached to documents and activated as soon as the file they’re attached to is opened.
Polymorphic viruses: A type of computer virus that can change itself to evade detection by security systems and anti-virus programs.
Resident viruses: Resident viruses infect an operating system and continuously run in the background negatively affecting system and app performance.
Non-resident viruses: These type of viruses shut down after performing their task.
How to Tell If Your Computer Has a Virus

While many computer viruses can remain well-hidden on your device, there are several clear behaviors that could suggest you’ve fallen victim to an infection, such as a noticeable decrease in system speed, changes being mysteriously made to system and app settings, notifications for services and apps that you don’t own, browser extensions or plugins being installed without your permission, and an inability to go online or open some programs.

Thankfully, there are several ways to check for sure if your device has a computer virus or not.

How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses

It’s important to practice a variety of strategies to keep your computer and other smart devices safe from viruses and other forms of malware.

Here are some of the best ways to protect your computer.

Keep operating system and apps up-to-date: This will make it harder for viruses to infect your devices.
Only connect to trusted internet connections: This can also protect you from other types of attacks such as ARP spoofing.
Avoid suspicious attachments: Never open email attachments from unknown senders, as these can contain malware and other viruses.
Only download files from official websites and trusted sources: Downloading files from websites you’re unfamiliar with is always a risk. No matter how legitimate a download may seem, if it’s not from a well-known source, avoid it.
Install antivirus software: A quality antivirus package will help you get rid of a virus on your computer and protect you from future infections.
The Best Antivirus Software of 2022

Computer viruses can be frustrating, and in a worst-case scenario, incredibly dangerous. However, it is possible to protect yourself against them by taking the right precautions and, if you need to, deal with them if your devices ever get infected.

FAQ

Is a PUP a computer virus?
A PUP, which stands for Potentially Unwanted Program, is any program that you did not specifically approve for download onto your computer. A PUP virus is usually a tiny program bundled into software and can come in the form of adware, spyware, Trojans, worms, or other malware.

What is a Zeus computer virus?
Zeus virus is a form of malicious software first detected in 2007. It targets Microsoft Windows and is often used to steal financial data. It is sometimes called Zbot, Zeus Gameover, or Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.

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