Threats to Computers

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1 - What are computer viruses?

Any computer software designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere negatively with the computer operations is called a virus. Viruses are embedded in legitimate software programs to be transmitted, when the program is copied, from one computer to another. Threats to computer security, in the form of a viruses, take different forms. Worms, for example, are viruses that replicate themselves from one computer to another, through the Internet or any other network connection.

2 - What are the signs that a computer is infected by a virus?

Some of the signs, but not all, are

  • Computer starting and running very slowly
  • Computer stops working (freezes)
  • Computer crashes
  • Applications starting by themselves

3 - How are computer viruses transmitted?

A computer virus may be transmitted

  • through the internet: browsing infected web pages, downloading of infected files, ...
  • by means of removable media such as CD's, flash drives, external hard drives,...
  • through emails and their attachments

4 - How to protect your computer from viruses?

  • Use a reliable antivirus software to protect your computer
  • Do not click on untrusted links.
  • Do not click on attachments unless you know the source. Attachments have often been used to transmit viruses.
  • Make sure your firewall is turned and do not accept access to your computer from the Internet
  • Do not download files that you do not trust