What Is a Computer Virus?

There are more than 1 billion malware programs online and over 560,000 new pieces of malware are added every day. In many ways a computer virus and a virus that a human can get are the same. They are both contagious, both dangerous, and we try to protect ourselves from both. Although they share these similarities, it can be difficult to wrap your head around just what a computer virus is. In this post, we aim to describe the ways in which a computer virus works, some signs that you can look for, and the best ways to prevent attacks.

How Does a Computer Virus Work?

A computer virus is a series of code that works by inserting itself into your computer and executing when it is opened. This can be through a number of ways such as links, photos, videos, or apps. Once the virus is executed, it carries out some functions such as encrypting your files, logging your keystrokes, stealing your information, or destroying your computer. Many viruses have financial motivation, so viruses such as ransomware will encrypt your files and demand that you pay a ransom to save your device. 

Signs of a Computer Virus

Computer viruses can produce a multitude of side effects so here are a few things to look for:

Frequent Pop Ups– A staple of computer virus side effects an unusually high amount of pop ups on your screen. 

Emails Sent From You– A mass of suspicious emails sent by you can indicate that a virus has taken control of your account and is attempting to infect other computers.

Slow Computer Performance– Computer viruses can slow down your performance by affecting your processing speed.

Password Changes– If you notice that you are locked out of many of your accounts and your password is not working, you may have a computer virus. 

If you suspect that you have a computer virus, the best thing you can do is take your computer to an expert who can diagnose the problem and get rid of any malicious software on your device. 

How to Prevent a Computer Virus Attack

Instead of scrambling to get your computer fixed after it has been infected, you are better off protecting yourself from malicious attacks. The first thing you should do is install a trustworthy antivirus software so you can have some peace of mind. Always avoid opening suspicious links sent to you through emails. Email phishing is a popular tool used by hackers to disguise themselves as a trustworthy or familiar website/person. Be wary of unsolicited emails for they can have negative intentions. You should also avoid opening links in pop-up screens. Much like phishing, unsolicited pop-up screens can unleash viruses on your computer if you click on them. Stay vigilant online and only download files that you are certain come from a trustworthy source. 

Get Rid of Your Computer Virus with Computer CPR

If you suspect that you have a computer virus, contact the experts at Computer CPR to solve your problem. We can wipe your computer clean of viruses and get your PC up and running again. Give us a call or fill out our form so we can help you with all of your computer repair and virus protection needs!

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