What is a Computer Virus and How Does It Work?

Updated: Mar 31

Viruses are not limited to the outside world and living creatures. Even computers can contract viruses, thus hindering your day-to-day life and procedures. Viruses can be annoying, inconvenient or even borderline dangerous. In this blog, we will explain what a computer virus is, how it works and what you can do to protect your devices.

What is a computer virus?

A computer virus is a type of code created with malicious intent. It is designed to affect a computer system and how it works. A computer virus can also spread from one device to another.

How does a computer virus work?

Similar to an actual virus, a computer virus can repeatedly replicate itself. A virus will insert its code into a certain program and lie dormant until it is activated. These triggers can be launching a certain program or creating an action. The uncertainty of computer viruses is one of the many things that makes them frightening.

How does a computer virus spread?

Much like a biological virus, a computer virus can infect other computers or machines through contact. Viruses have the potential to be spread through exchanging files, texts or emails. Your smartphone or mobile device is also at risk for infection! Exercise caution whenever sharing content or information, as well as downloading programs and apps.

What are the common types of viruses?

There are 5 common types of computer viruses; however, the list is much longer! The list includes a boot sector virus, a web scripting virus, a browser hijacker virus, a direct action virus and a resident virus. Each type of virus has a type of trigger action; for example, a web scripting virus activates when you visit a certain website or webpage. A browser hijacker virus will piggyback off certain functions and “hijack” your browsing activity.

What are the signs that my computer has a virus?

Similar to the flu, a computer virus also has many different possible symptoms! Signs of a computer virus include unusual performance activities, including a slowed processing speed, frequent crashes or unknown programs. Or, a computer virus attack can be as simple as multiple pop-up windows. Make sure that you stay aware of any potential device changes, no matter how small.

How can I protect my computer from a virus?

You can begin protecting your device TODAY. Research the best antivirus software for your computer and purposes. Be careful of whom you share information with online. Exercise caution when downloading files; for example, you can scan a file before downloading it. These are just a few steps that you can take to protect yourself and your computer.

Computer viruses may seem just inconvenient on the surface, but they can vary from annoying to dangerous, depending on their function. At Castle Technology Partners, we want to help you protect your castle by providing a multitude of services, including computer management, video surveillance and security. Book an appointment today with Castle Tech or download the security checklist on our website at www.castletechnologypartners.com.

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