What is a computer virus?
A virus is any code or software that runs on a computer unbeknownst
by the owner and causes damage. It may come in a number of forms such
as, trojans, macros, and worms.
Trojans: a program that appears to be legitimate
but is designed to have negative effects on the computer onto which
the program was loaded.
Macros: a computer virus which is embedded
into a document or application (like MS Word, Excel) and all future
documents are also infected until the macro is removed.
Worms: a malicious program that replicates
itself until it fills all of the available space on a hard drive.
How do you stop a virus?
Step 1) First you need to purchase and install some anti-virus software.
There are numerous anti-virus software companies out there and each
have their own merits. Following is a short list of some of the larger
Step 2) Next you need to configure the software to protect
your computer. Most "off the shelf" products will configure
"by default" to auto-protect your hard disk and to scan incoming/outgoing
email for viruses.
Note: Remember that scanning for viruses in real-time
may cause a significant decrease in system performance.
Step 3) Finally you need to ensure that the software
is updating the virus definition files daily. Definition files are usually
downloaded online from a server at the software manufacturer. All
anti-virus software depends on its' definition files to determine
whether or not a particular piece of software may be infected. As
a file comes into your computer, the anti-virus software will scan it for
known types of viruses, the known types are found in the definition
files. To illustrate this point, we'll look at Norton Anti-Virus