A virus is a program designed to replicate and spread, generally without the knowledge or permission of the user. Computer viruses spread by attaching themselves to other programs or to the boot sector of a disk. When an infected file is executed or accessed or the computer is started with an infected disk, the virus spreads onto the computer.
Depending on the virus, some viruses are cute, some are annoying and others are disastrous. Some of the disastrous symptoms of a virus include:
- Computer fails to boot.
- Disks have been formatted.
- The partitions are deleted or the partition table is corrupt.
- Can't read a disk.
- Data or entire files are corrupt or are disappearing
- Programs don't run anymore.
- Files become larger.
- System is slower than normal.
- System has less available memory than it should.
- System is running erratic or exhibiting strange behaviors
- Intercept information being sent to and from a device.
To avoid viruses, you should do the following:
- You should not use pirated software, since there is more of a chance for them having a virus.
- You should treat files downloaded from the Internet with suspicion.
- You should not boot from or access a floppy disk of unknown origin.
- You should educate your fellow users.
- You should use an updated anti-virus software package that constantly detects viruses.
- You should backup your files on a regular basis.
This applies to: