Computer viruses affect us all in one way or another in the modern age – and, for many of us, dealing with them is a daily issue!
But where do computer viruses come from, who created them, and what can we do to deal with them? Is there any end to the constant wave of viruses and malware heading in our direction?
We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some ‘fun’ facts about computer viruses that might just surprise you…
1. Where do computer viruses come from?
Although some of us tend to believe that computer viruses only spring from specific websites, that is simply not the case. As is the case with regular viruses, you can pretty much pick them up from anywhere! You can get them by downloading music, sharing photos or files, in emails, downloading certain free games, installing applications, etc. Be careful out there!
2. What can computer viruses do?
While some computer viruses go undetected, others can destroy your computer. They can eat away at internal programs, your hard drive and even delete certain files! That’s why it is so important to always have backups – you never know when you might need them.
3. Is your internet slow?
One way in which viruses can attack your computer is by making it impossible to use the internet. While you may simply think that your connection is slow, the truth could be that a virus is happily replicating itself continuously to fill the network with traffic. Therefore, you’re out of luck and offline until that worm’s quarantined and removed!
4. Crash and burn!
Other viruses may cause your computer to reduce performance to a standstill, or even crash frequently. So, while it may be easy to blame the manufacturer, it could be a virus or even multiple ones that are making your computer so sluggish!
5. How can I detect viruses?
Viruses can be pretty difficult to detect, especially if you are not computer-savvy! However, if you notice that your computer is slow, not allowing ease of access to the web, crashing frequently, or even behaving weirdly, then you may well have a virus or worse. It is best to take your computer directly to a specialist to have it checked out!
6. Protection is simple, but compare different programs.
Thankfully, yes, there are things that you can do to protect your computer from viruses! Having antivirus protection installed, as well as a firewall, will help to better protect you and your computer. However, not all antivirus suites are perfect at detecting and removing the latest, most vicious of brutes.
7. Viruses are popping up all around us.
It is currently believed that about one million new viruses are created every month! There are spammers and hackers everywhere, and some of them are not even detected! Scary stuff – but just make sure you’re well-protected, and avoid clicking anything that doesn’t seem friendly!
8. Some viruses cause serious financial damage.
MYDOOM is reported to be the most costly computer virus of all time. It’s said to have caused downturn and damage across the world worth more than $38.5 billion! All the more reason to stay protected, then!
9. It’s illegal to create computer viruses in some countries.
While ‘ethical hacking’ and virus creation exists to some extent, there are some territories that have outlawed creating and releasing viruses and worms outright. For example, Germany and Finland both have clear laws against virus-making. As the US is most at risk than any other country from these attacks, perhaps we’d better follow suit!
FAQs About Computer Viruses
What are some examples of computer viruses?
Some of the most famous computer viruses include MYDOOM, SOBIG, ILOVEYOU, NIMDA, and more. However, new viruses are created every day - these are just some of the most destructive and most famous!
Who created the first computer virus?
It is believed that John von Neumann created the first computer virus. He created a self-reproducing program, which led to the creation of other self-reproducing programs. Thanks for that, John!
Can my anti-virus software protect my computer against all computer viruses?
Sadly, no. No anti-virus software has yet been created that can protect a computer against all attacks - better keep updating your programs, and keep your eyes peeled for potential attacks!