How Do Computer Viruses Work and How Can You Avoid Them?
Unfortunately, computer viruses have been around since we can all remember, and they’ll be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Yes, they’re frustrating – reminding us how vulnerable we can all be as we work and play on our PCs.
Intense cyber attacks have risen in recent decades, including the Mydoom Worm infecting a quarter-million computers in one day, the ILOVEYOU and Melissa viruses forcing corporations around the world to shut down their email servers temporarily, and the Storm Worm harming more than 50 million computers worldwide.
No matter how sophisticated humanity and computing become, viruses and other exploits become craftier and more invasive as time goes by.
Thankfully, it’s possible to combat them, but first, it’s essential to understand what cyber exploits are and how they operate. The most common include:
A virus is a small piece of software that piggybacks on computer programs. For example, a virus might attach itself to a program you install, and each time you run it, the virus runs as well. From there, the virus can reproduce and connect to other programs, which can wreak havoc on your computer.
#2 – Email Viruses
Most of us have received at least one, maybe even numerous, emails that come with dangerous attachments or dubious links that can devastate our PCs. Some email viruses even launch in the message preview. They usually replicate by automatically mailing themselves to a victim’s contact list.
#3 – Trojan Horses
A Trojan Horse is a computer program that claims to do something, like a game you’re looking forward to playing or a utility that will seemingly make your life easier. Instead, it damages your computer almost every time you run said program. Even more frightening is that it can erase your hard disk. The only good news about Trojan Horses is that they can’t replicate automatically.
#4 – Worms
A worm is an exploit that finds its way through holes in a small piece of software or app. It has the power to replicate itself and scan a network for another machine to damage. Worms are nightmares for organizations especially and spread from device to device at lightning speed.
How to Avoid Viruses and Other Exploits
Feeling worried about your computer’s safety yet? An excellent place to start is to set a code of standards that will protect you.
For example, never open an email from someone you don’t know, click on email links unless you know what’s in them, or download apps without researching first.
Also, commit to updating your device and drivers regularly, as many exploits come from putting off updates.
Luckily, Solve iQ software can make this process easy. The service lets you know when and how to update your device and fixes hiccups before you have a problem on your hands. Solve iQ can also filter through deceptive and bloated apps that may bog down your device. It also offers great internet safety features like Ad Blocker for added privacy protection, deceptive apps protection, and malicious website protection through DNS, which keeps you from accidentally going to known malicious websites.
Finally, if you think your PC may have a virus or is infected with malware, take action as soon as possible. Download a trusted virus scanner to see what’s happening, and know that it might not catch every sneaky exploit out there.