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Problems caused by viruses

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Computer Science
Wordcount: 1031 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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I will discuss about different types of viruses and what threats they hold towards the computer and what kind of damage they can do. A virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission of the user.

I will talk about:-

  • What a virus does
  • How it can affect your computer
  • A Bit of History About Virus
  • Different types of viruses
  • How does it cause problems when your using the internet and Conclusions

Threats of Viruses

A virus can only spread from one computer to another when its host is taken to the target computer. A user can send viruses over the Internet or it can be carried on things like CD, DVD or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer. It can damage your network area and without the proper antivirus software, your computer is most likely to be affected by a virus, especially if you are going to use the internet.

A virus must meet two criteria:

  1. The virus has to be executed by itself. In order to be executed by itself, it has to have its own coding on when to be executed.
  2. The virus has to replicate itself. It has to copy itself from the original, so it can create a problem for the user. Viruses can infect desktop computers and network servers alike.

History of Virus

“In the early 1980s, experiments were carried out on computer security and 1983 saw the emergence of the first virus. Fred Cohen, at that time a student at the University of Southern California, had the idea of introducing self-reproducing software, which could spread by infiltrating existing programmes, thus attacking the security of multi-user computing systems. Len Adleman, Cohen’s thesis adviser suggested that this was similar to a biological virus, which uses the resources of the cell it attacks to reproduce itself. The term “computer virus” was born.”

6 Types of Viruses

  • File Infector Viruses – A virus that affects program files. This virus can damage the programs that you either use or do not use basically it damages executable files such as .exe and .com files.
  • Boot Sector Viruses – A virus that affects the system area of the disk such as floppy disk or CD. Boot sector viruses attach themselves to the program of that specific disk and activate when the user attempts to start up their PC from the infected disk.
  • Master Boot Record Viruses – A virus that affects the boot sectors. It saves a legitimate copy of the master boot record in a different location without you knowing that it has done it without your permission.
  • Multipartite Viruses – A virus that affects both programs and boot sectors. Basically for this virus if one is not clean, then the one that is clean will be infected. For example if the boot sector is clean, but the files are not, then the boot sector will be infected.
  • Macro Viruses – A virus that affects data files. This virus is the most common virus than any other viruses above because this virus can damage Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and etc.
  • Virus Hoax – A virus that are sent by emails. This virus can damage and delete everything on your hard drive if an email that’s got a virus is either on your inbox or if you have open that email.


Virus Hoax is one of the viruses that can cause problems when you are using the internet because the email that is affected by a virus can damage and delete important files from your computer. A lot of people are getting these virus hoax chain letters, which can spread like fire depending on how many people you are sending it to. When people get these chain letters, they don’t check who they got it from and open it up straight away and forward the message to other people, so they computer can get infected by the virus, so it is very important to 1st find out who sent u the email and 2nd if you receive an email titled which some will have email virus hoax on it then do not open it!.

Another way of having a virus on your computer is if a hacker installs a virus onto your computer. This can happen if there is no anti-virus software or firewall and if there is no program to protect your computer, then the hacker has an easy access to your computer which he can do any kind of damage to your computer. Once the hacker gets into your computer, the hacker can do anything to your computer, it can even mess your computer up by installing a virus of any kind. So in order to prevent that from happening your will need either an anti-virus or a firewall onto your computer.(See Details Below)

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How do you get rid and prevent your computer from having a virus?

To prevent from having any types of viruses, you will need to have anti-virus software. It is software that will track down and get rid of any viruses that are on your computer and also prevents any viruses from getting into your computer. It can also protect your computer from any other threats as well such as Trojans and hacking.

Another way your can prevent having troubles while your using the internet is to have a firewall. Firewall is a necessary program to keep intruders away while you are connected to the internet such as hackers. Hackers can hack into your computer and create a massacre for example create a program to spy on you and take some important information such as credit card number when you do online shopping or install a virus without you knowing anything about it. So it is recommended that if you do not have an anti-virus program, then have firewall on or install firewall to prevent hackers to hack into your computer while you are on internet.


  • http://service1.symantec.com/support/nav.nsf/docid/1999041209131106
  • http://www.windowsmaven.com/
  • http://www.internet-story.com/dangers.htm


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