What is a Virus?
A computer virus, or simply a virus, is a malware program that when launched, duplicates and inserts itself into a computer program, files, hard drives, or in the boot sector. Not all viruses are the same. In fact, “virus” is just one of the many types of malicious software (or malware) out there. We can have Trojans, worms, rootkits, and to name a few. Virus was a dominant malware during the 1980s to 90s of which technology was slowly making its way into homes, and access has become easier. So when mentioned by the non-technology savvy, it pertains to the malware as a whole.
How Often and How Do Viruses Attack These Days?
Always remember that a malware is developed by someone, and it didn’t spring on its own. So in most cases, viruses target sensitive material in your personal computer, especially private information, conversations, passwords, intimate photos, and the like. The occurrences of your computer to catch a malware these days is quite rare as hackers have found new and subtle ways to infiltrate someone else’s data through cloud computing and the Internet because hackers and users meet halfway here. Lesser effort for the perpetrators and more information can be bagged. However, many would still fall for the classic methods.
“Prevention Is Better Than Cure”
The best way to keep your computers secure from a harmful software is to avoid it. Never be too self-assured in your antivirus as there are certain malware that moves from data to data discretely. It’s all in how you interact with the elements in your interface, especially when on the Internet.
Here are some ways to keep those nasty viruses at bay from your computer:
Never talk to strangers. Your parent’s advice when you were still a kid can stretch its way into human-computer interaction. This means that you should never share any personal information to anyone whom you are not familiar with. Alternatively, never interact with them at all. This also includes how you present yourself in social media. By publicizing your address, your workplace, taking pictures of your bank cards and passport all put you at great risk. You are simply giving a clue to the perpetrators of who they should victimize next. And that’s you.
Never view attached files in emails from an unknown sender. Even if it claims to be someone who works from a legitimate company where your interests align with. If it seems suspicious, simply ignore it and delete the message right away. These files could contain malware that penetrates your computer as soon as you open it.
Refrain from installing illegal and counterfeit programs no matter how tempting it can be. Always remember that you get what you pay for, and you get what you deserve. If these programs seem to be unsupported by any known companies, or it hasn’t established a good feedback, don’t take the risk.
Scan your computer from time to time. Some viruses are dormant and can be triggered by certain events and tasks performed by your computer. Schedule a timely examination of your local drives, and always let your antivirus software go through foreign rives like pen drives and memory cards. Though an antivirus software won’t guarantee 100% security, it still can protect you nonetheless.
Be cautious when dealing with any files having extensions like .BAT, .VBS, .EXE, .COM, and .PIF as Trojan Horses can hide in these files.
Keep your antivirus software up to date because from time to time, new kinds of malware are introduced. Again, antivirus programs are not 100% effective but rather a tool to help you. Another thing, a full version is totally worth the cost as it can offer more functionality and provide more security for your computer.
It’s worth nothing that there are many ways to get a computer infected. With networking and the Internet an easy access these days, viruses tend to be more adaptive and flexible. Take computer safety very seriously because the next one to be harmed in these situations is you, your privacy, and your personal assets.