Computer virus

What is a computer virus?

We’ve all been there, browsing the web harmlessly, getting work done and then all of a sudden you are met with the dreaded warning, a computer virus is attacking your system.

There aren’t many things more worrying than an imminent threat to your systems, particularly ones that your business relies on to operate. But what is a computer virus?

In this blog post our IT experts share their insight into what a computer virus is in addition to answering some common questions about computer viruses that our team are asked regularly.

What is a computer virus?

Let’s start with identifying what a computer virus is and how one comes to exist. Essentially a computer virus is a piece of code created to damage or harm your device.

Think of it like the common cold, often a computer virus can simply slow down your device, whereas like the flu, things can become more serious and your device may stop operating altogether.

Much like the common cold or the flu virus, a computer virus can also replicate itself and spread from one device to another.

How does a computer virus work?

There are a couple of ways that a computer virus can work. The first way is for the virus to infiltrate or attach itself to an existing programme or piece of software on your computer or device. By doing this it can damage the device, delete files or even reformat a hard drive rendering it useless.

Another way a computer virus can work is to replicate itself to the point where multiple versions of itself flood your device or network and make it almost impossible to use the device or carry out any meaningful activity on the internet via your device.

How does a virus spread?

So we’ve explained that viruses replicate, but how do they spread?

One of the most common ways that viruses spread on a computer and mobile devices is via email attachments and links or links and attachments embedded in a text message.

However, there are plenty of other ways that they can spread including, but not restricted to, file downloads, social media scams, visiting an infected website or downloading add-ons such as toolbars or browser plugins.

Once a virus infiltrates your network it can also spread between devices on your network and given the fact that the average person now has approximately 4 connected devices, it could spell disaster and become very expensive to rectify the situation.

What should you look out for?

If your computer, laptop, phone or tablet experiences any of the following symptoms then it may be that they are infected with a virus.

Common signs of a computer virus include:

  • Slow performance
  • Frequent pop ups
  • Crashing without warning or reason
  • Deleted files
  • Unexplained communications from your device to another person’s device
  • Password changes
  • Changes to your browser’s homepage

What are the different types of computer viruses?

According to Norton, there 9 types of computer virus.

These are:

  1. Boot sector virus
  2. Web scripting virus
  3. Browser hijacker
  4. Resident virus
  5. Direct action virus
  6. Polymorphic virus
  7. File infector virus
  8. Multipartite virus
  9. Macro virus

Our team have encountered each type of computer virus and will be able to advise on the best course of action should your device be infected with any of the above.

How can you stop a computer virus?

Now that you know exactly what a computer virus is, how it can affect your device and how it can spread, it’s essential you know how to stop one in its tracks before any damage can be done.

That is where our team can help.

In addition to our in-house team’s experience and skills, we are also proud to partner with ESET Internet Security who have been awarded Which? Best Buy award for Antivirus Software three years in a row.

Ensuring your device is protected by comprehensive antivirus software is essential and can prove the difference between a device that remains safe and secure and another that gets infected and which can potentially be catastrophic for both a device and a business as a whole.

In addition to antivirus software we can also provide comprehensive security and protect your devices via several other measures including real-time file server protection and more.

To learn more about our PC and mobile security services click here [link to PC and Mobile security page once live].

Protect yourself and your business from computer viruses

Now is the time to ensure your devices are protected.

Whether you are in need of advice following a cyber attack, you think your device may have a virus on it or you wantt o safeguard your device in case of a potential threat from viruses, our team of IT experts can help.

We’ve helped clients across the North West including Buxton, Derbyshire, Stockport and South Manchester protect their devices, giving them peace of mind and saving them money thanks to the fact that they have robust protection in palce.

To benefit from our team’s expertise, please contact us today by calling 01298 74780.