Computer viruses become a threat for most computer users. But have you ever asked yourself “where do computer viruses come from“? Perhaps with this knowledge you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of your PC without becoming a virus victim.
Behind every virus is a computer programmer. They create viruses for a variety of reasons. It may be to demonstrate skill. It may be eager students seeking admiration from their fellows. But more often than not viruses are created by cyber-criminals. They are designed to steal or copy your personal data for financial gain. It may be to gain access to passwords or credit card details. It may be to use your internet connection without your knowledge for illegal purposes. Or it may just be to bombard you with spam and bogus advertisements.
So viruses can be simply annoying or they can lead to financial ruin. Either way they are something we all need to steer clear of and we can do that by knowing a little more about them.
The most common source of virus infection is of course the Internet, this will not be a surprise and it doesn’t mean that you have to stop accessing the Internet either. Most of the people who do unknowingly catch viruses from the net do so because they are click-happy. By this I mean they will click around and download anything on offer without knowing whether or not they can trust the source.
Here’s a simple tip: Before you click on a link, check your status bar (usually bottom left) and see where it points to. Also make sure you don’t install any programs unless you are confident you know what they are and where they have come from.
Email and email attachments are the second most common tool used to spread computer viruses. Email attachments must be handled with a lot of caution and you must not open any attachments that come with an email from an unknown sender. If you have a good anti virus package then you will be able to scan attachments before you view them. Make sure you do this even if it’s from a friend. They may have unknowingly forwarded a virus to you.
Another very common way in which the virus spreads is as part of a bundle with cracks and key generators. Generally these are offered on peer-to-peer networks that have illegal file-sharing programs. The victim would be lured with downloads for free software only to find they were installing a virus on their own system.
The main thing is not just having a good antivirus on your computer, it is to keep it up to date because new viruses are created all the time. Again, a good anti virus suit will update itself regularly.
Hopefully this has answered that burning question “where do computer viruses come from”? Just good anti virus software and a bit of common computer sense is all you really need to stay safe from computer viruses.