By definition, computer viruses are executable programs that can reproduce or replicate and disrupt a computer’s normal operation. The spread of computer viruses started in the late 1970’s when floppy disks were used widely by computer owners to exchange and save files. Viruses were primarily transferred to another computer through this mode of storage. Viruses attach themselves on any part of program especially those which are executed upon starting up a computer. At present, viruses are transferred through networks and the internet.
How Does A Computer Virus Work?
There are two types of viruses and they are identified on the way they replicate once they come in contact with your computer’s hard drive. These types are known as “Nonresident viruses” and “Resident viruses”. The difference between these two are explained below.
Nonresident Computer Virus
A nonresident computer virus is also known as a finder virus. It is consist of a module that searches and infects a new file that is compatible to its configuration and a module that replicates and infects any executable file that the finder module is able to find. This type of computer virus is harmful because it usually operates as a background program and is not easily noticed by any computer owner.
Resident Computer Virus
A resident computer virus also contains a module for replication but it doesn’t need to be summoned by a finder module. The virus program is simply loaded to the memory, once it is executed and does the same infecting process to other files; it will be doing the same process every time you use the affected programs on your PC or even every moment that you turn your machine on. This type of virus is capable of infecting a lot of files on your computer with the use of a fast infector, but doing so will also increase the chances of it being detected by an antivirus program.
What does a Computer Virus Do?
A computer virus infects files on your computer especially those that are used in the boot up process. Once a computer is infected by a virus, processes become slower to load and programs become more susceptible to “crashes” and internal memory errors. Other computer viruses may also erase or corrupt important documents and files on your computer making it inaccessible. Still, there are powerful viruses that can totally erase your hard drive’s memory and even damage your computer’s hard disk.
Preventing Computer Viruses
Computer viruses are quite easy to prevent using antivirus programs. There are lots of antivirus programs available on the internet today which can be purchased using a credit or a debit card. Installing an antivirus program is an effective way of preventing computer viruses from spreading in your computer’s memory. USB antivirus is also useful in preventing the spread of viruses through a USB mass storage device.
Performing a regular wide memory scan will also lessen the chances of any computer virus from spreading. Viruses are normally detected by your antivirus program and are immediately moved to a place where it is incapable of executing itself and infecting other important files in your computer. The antivirus software you purchased is also capable of deleting viruses and other malicious programs from your computer.
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