an artist’s rendering of a computer virus

What Is a Computer Virus? A Quick Computer Lesson

Terms like CMS, indexing, HTML5 and IP address may go over the heads of some people not in web development. But there is one word people universally understood: virus. The computer virus has filled the hearts of business owners with dread and terror. But what is a computer virus? How do you avoid them? Today, we give a comprehensive diagnosis on this digital infection.

Origins and Explanation of a Computer Virus

Did you know that computer viruses are a recent creation in the technology field? The first “virus” was a program called Elk Cloner created almost thirty years ago as a prank. It was this virus that launched a generation of trolls, causing billions of dollars in damage to companies, and not to mention, unneeded mental turmoil.

What is a computer virus, specifically? Computer viruses are a specific malicious program that infects software and makes copies of itself. For example, say you’re reading an email and one email says its program can improve your computer speed by 100 percent. You download the program and run it thinking your computer will be process faster, but you find it takes minutes for your computer files to open. While you may not see it, this program is actually replicating and embedding itself into your computer’s operating program. It’s may not be “harming” your computer overall, but your computer is now infected.

While some can be an inconvenience, like the example above, viruses can cause catastrophic damage, especially to businesses. The most infamous example in computer virus history would be the ILOVEYOU virus in the 2000s. This virus spread quickly through company email networks and cost billions in damages.

Other infamous computer virus names include:

  • MyDoom
  • Storm Worm
  • Zeus
  • Sasser

What to do when infected with a computer virus

Companies need protection from all types of viruses. Viruses, and other malicious programs, can embed themselves on your website if it’s badly designed. Not only will this harm your business internally, but it can also damage your company reputation swiftly. While there is no such thing as a perfectly safe operating system, there are ways to keep your computer safe from all the ILOVEYOUs and Elk Cloners.

Ways to keep your computer safe from viruses:

  • Deleting spam from company email network
  • Not downloading anything unless from a reputable site
  • Being selective in third party plugins on your CMS
  • Equipping your computers with antivirus software with computer virus removal programs
  • Installing new software updates when they become available (don’t procrastinate!)

If your computer does become infested with a virus, don’t worry. Quickly disconnect from the internet to prevent the virus from spreading. Run an antivirus scan, which will either remove or quarantine the malicious file. If the problem continues, seek professional computer virus removal.

Play it Safe with Mvestor Media

Don’t let viruses ruin your life and business. If you feel your website is infested, contact the experts at Mvestor Media. Our web designers can give you a website people can trust.

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