The Computer Virus Guide
A computer virus is capable of replicating itself in a computer, without the approval of the owner. A virus spreads from one machine to an other via the internet or removable storage devices such as USB drive, floppy disk, CD, or DVD. Once the computer gets infected by a virus, it automatically loses its ability to perform at its peak. The computer may also stop functioning completely, leading to the loss of data and a lot of panic for the user. The term “virus” may sometimes include other type of detrimental software programs such as malware, spyware, and adware, but these programs don’t replicate themselves as true viruses do.
The list of viruses keeps growing by the day, and new types of viruses are detected each year. There are some common types of viruses that infect computers around the world every single day of the year. Some of these include the Trojan horse, worm, boot-sector virus, macro virus, and rootkit virus. A Trojan horse appears as a productive program at first, but when it is executed, it destroys data or compromises data recovery and the computer’s security. A worm, on the other hand, replicates itself in a computer and spreads through emails and removable storage devices. If a computer fails to boot up, it is possible that a boot-sector virus is present, as this type of virus is known to target the boot-sector of the hard drive. Macro virus generally infects word processors and spreadsheets such as MS Word or MS Excel, and rootkit virus cloaks itself as an operating system file, thus preventing data recovery or conventional anti-virus software from detecting it.
Certain measures can be taken to prevent computer virus infection. Some of these include installing a reliable anti-virus program and running it every week, keeping the operating system updated with the latest security patches, not opening email attachments that belong to unknown senders, and running an antivirus scan on the removable storage devices whenever they are connected to the computer. Also, computer virus can be countered by using raid recovery and backing up data in a timely manner.
One of the greatest harms that viruses do to computers is the deletion of valuable data. The virus sometimes may damage the hard drive to such an extent that even with the best raid recovery techniques cannot retrieve the data. Therefore, backing up one’s data on a regular basis is important. Crucial data can be backed up to another hard drive; it can be burned to DVDs or it can even be transferred to online backup and storage sites. This will ensure that data can be easily recovered, no matter what the catastrophe. Additionally, using data recovery processes such as disk imaging, hard drive recovery, hardware repair, raid recovery, raid server recovery , or the ‘chkdsk’ utility in Microsoft can also help to retrieve lost data. There are also a number of effective drive recovery software programs that can retrieve vital data.
Virus hoaxes are chain emails that warn users of a dangerous computer virus, which actually doesn’t exist. The sender usually sends these virus hoax emails to play pranks on other computer users. If one receives an email of this sort, he or she should immediately check whether the claimed virus is a hoax or not. Some virus hoax emails try to unsettle the users by making sensational claims, while others coax users to delete vital operating system files.