- Internet & the Web
Computer Virus:meaning,causes and Precaution
The meaning of Computer Virus ,Causes and Precaution should be a quest of any regular computer user. A Computer Virus is coded Software with an ability to replicate itself very fast sent into circulation with a malicious intent. All computers are susceptible to Virus attack if they are not protected. The colossal damage brought about as a result of virus attack call for proper understanding of what it is, how it operates and how to prevent it.
Computer virus can be very subtle and even be aided by a Computer user unaware. The important question is why Computer Virus? The essence of Virus is to gain access to confidential information of others, delete or corrupt important files maliciously.
Virus infection in Computers can be contacted through different means. Below are the commonest causes of Computer Virus attack.
1. Through the internet: The easiest and quickest means of spreading Computer Virus is the internet. Basically through downloaded files and documents. When the source of a document is not trusted it should not be downloaded. If at all it will be downloaded it has to be thoroughly scanned for virus with a reliable anti-virus Software.
2. Through Email attachments: When the source of an email attachment is not known and trusted it should not be opened especially the messages of “get rich quickly”. Some of them are Scam and coded virus. This kind of offer is usually appealing and used as a bait to trap the unsuspecting public or computer user.
3. Removable Storage Devices: Going by the definition of a Computer Virus, it has the ability to replicate itself through every medium instructed in the coded software. One of the means of doing so is through a removable storage facility such as Floppy Disc, USB Flash drive, Memory cards etc. Before accepting any of these devices they should be scanned for Virus.
4. Through Bluetooth Transfer: Viruses can be contacted through transfer of documents via a Bluetooth if the source is infested with a Virus or the document transferred. This called for the installation of a reliable anti- Virus software.
Types of Computer Virus
There are different types of Computer Virus. It depends on the intent the Virus designer want to achieve and the ease of doing so. However, for the sake of simplicity there are two broad categories of computer virus namely, Operating System Virus and the Application Virus.
The Operating System is the platform on which Computer applications operates. It is the brain behind the computer functionality. Computer Operating System Virus is more difficult to deal with than application Viruses. The following are other types of Virus.
1. Boot Sector Virus: The Boot sector controls the Computer on and off switch. If this sector is infected by a Virus, it can prevent the Computer from being switched on. If perhaps the System comes on, the Virus can use it as a medium to replicate itself to other parts of the computer.
2. Fat Virus: This is the type of Virus that attack Files, applications or programs directory of a Computer System. It has the ability to modify the instruction base of the directory in order to gain control over the Computer System. It can indicate that there is no space for new applications or files which is not true.
3. Resident Virus: This type of Computer Virus resides in the RAM of a Computer. It usually waits for the system to boot and in the cause of using the Computer, it will spread itself.
4. Macro Virus: This is a recent name in the World of Computer Viruses. Macro Virus target are documents and they mostly attack Microsoft Word Documents.
5. Companion Virus: This is a Computer Virus that attaches itself with files and maliciously gets activated each time such files are opened or worked upon. In the process they can corrupt or replace existing files or programs.
6. Trojan Horse: Trojan Horse is not a Virus per say going by the definition of Computer Virus but have the ability to create a loophole in a Computer for Virus infection. Trojan Horse is the brain behind Rootkit Virus infection in Computer. Trojan horse has the ability to house a malicious malware that usually appears not harmful which can be installed as a useful program. unlike viruses, Trojan horse cannot replicate itself without the help the computer user. This is as a result of ignorance when downloaded, as the user replicate the program or files infected it naturally spreads and by implication fulfills the intent of developer .
7. Logic Bomb: This is the type of Computer Virus that waits for certain conditions fulfilled before it can be activated. It can be a certain period of the year or particular activities coded or embedded in the Software. By implication the Virus can be there for a very long time pending on when such activities are carried out.
Computer Viruses is not something to joke with. It is better to know the causes and take precaution than to be caught off guard. Most importantly a reliable anti- Virus Software should be installed in the Computer and be updated as at when due.