If your computer is infected, your personal files may be stolen!'
Viruses don't occur in cyber space naturally like biological viruses do, of course. A programmer has to create them. So, we are at fault for all of the headaches we deal with when trying to prevent or remove viruses infected on our systems. So why do we do it? Or maybe I should say, "Why do THEY do it." Here are a few reasons why: - Identity Theft/Restricted Data Theft - Bragging Rights - To Gain Remote Control of Your PC - To damage organizations or competing business entities
In this scenario your computer has been infected with a virus that records information from your computer and transmits that information back to the virus creator or host machine. In many cases the virus doesn't actually seek out data on your computer but rather sits and monitors your activity on the internet and data you send to the internet like for example; credit card information, passwords, or personal identity information. Then the virus transmits that information to the host computer.
In the case of viruses that provide remote access to your computer, this may not necessarily be full access to your computer but rather can slave your computer to the host machine which may send your computer commands to perform actions that benefit the virus programmer in some way. Computers that have become infected may assist the host machine by finding restricted data from the slave computer's local network, or another action would be to simply send a stream of unnecessary data from the slave computer to a 3rd party website or network. In the event that there are hundreds or even thousands of computers infected and they are all sending junk data to a 3rd party, this causes the 3rd party site to become flooded and no longer functions normally. So the programmer of the virus may be a member or a competing organization with the 3rd party and since their virus is infected on several various unrelated workstations there is virtually no way to tie the flooding of the website or network to the programmer who created the virus.
Now there are viruses that actually damage your computer or are created to spread from computer to computer over a network and once in place, they search out the operating system and corrupt or delete specific files. These types of viruses are usually created by a programmer with an opposite agenda then the organization the programmer has infected with the virus. Again the virus can perform an array of functions but the basic idea is that it disrupts the organization's function. These kinds of viruses spread very well over email since most organizations send lots of emails internally, but in such scenarios this can infect computers even outside the organization and so individuals who were not even targeted become collateral damage.
In some cases viruses are created and distributed purely for the satisfaction of the programmer that created it. The more computers that get infected by the particular virus the more sense of accomplishment the programmer can claim. Many times these types of viruses don't even pose much of a threat as much as they cause annoying pop ups or difficulties with using the computer's operating system.
There is no 100% way of making sure you don't get a virus. However you can take some steps to minimise your risk! Always have an antivirus program installed, there are plenty of free ones out there like AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials. Once installed make sure they are updated regularly, most will do this automatically as soon as you go online. Run scans on a regular basis to catch anything that my get through. It's always a good idea to have a good malware/spyware program also, I use Malwarebytes, again it is free for home users and once installed and updated will catch most malicious items if you run regular scans! Never open any attachment on an email if you are not 100% sure that you can trust the sender. Be aware when browsing websites and never click on suspicious links or pop ups. Many people download music and video from the web now days. It is a bad idea to use p2p sites such as limewire etc.. as many of the downloads can contain hidden viruses, malware and spyware! Click on the Icons Below
Microsoft Security Essentials helps guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software
AVG Free Detects and stops viruses, threats and malware Great, easy-to-use protection everyone needs