Understanding the threats to your computer’s security is the first step to protecting your personal information or business data. Antech’s technicians answer here some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients, as well as providing some resources for your own use.
Are you not sure if spyware or another kind of virus is infecting your PC or laptop? Antech will come to you to clean up your computer problems. Just contact us for computer services in Winnipeg and surrounding areas.
Computer viruses are malicious programs that are designed to spread in computer software; just think of a flu virus that can spread in our systems and from person to person. And like those viruses, computer viruses copy themselves in your files, hard drive and removable disks. The most insidious aspect of a computer virus is that you probably don’t know it’s in your computer’s system unless something goes terribly wrong.
Viruses are capable of infecting any type of code and program files in your computer. In your disks or system areas of your hard drive, viruses infect what is called “executable” code, which is the software language that tells your computer’s hardware what to do.
The good news is that many files are safe because they contain only pure data such as text, graphics and sound. Just viewing or listening to gif, .jpg, .mp3 or .wav files won’t release a virus into your computer.
When your computer uses code that carries instructions to its hard drive, any hidden virus code also runs with it. Then the virus infects other programs on your computer and spreads to any other computers connected to your network. And the virus keeps on trying to infect other programs and computers. Boot sector viruses may copy itself in the system areas of your hard disk.
If you share infected files over networks or portable drives and memory cards, you are sharing the viruses with other computers too. To protect your computer and others, make sure your antivirus software is up to date and capable of handling all types of malicious codes such as Trojans, spyware, adware and ransomware..
Viruses are basically software created by a programmer for whatever purpose they have written into the code, from just seeing how far the virus can spread the virus to purposely damaging files. Spyware viruses are a security threat for both home and commercial computer systems.
The one thing a virus can’t do is actually destroy the computer (hardware) itself. Rumors about viruses that eat your hard drive or burn up your monitor are untrue.
A Trojan horse in computer language is not a virus but related to viruses by being an often harmful program. Trojan horse programs got their name because they pretend to be other computer programs such as games, file sharing programs or even an email attachment. Just opening or downloading a Trojan horse file won’t activate it but running it will – playing the game or opening a spreadsheet in Excel.
You need to be aware of Trojan horse programs because they can delete your files or crash your computer system. At their worst, these programs are used for can be used to steal your passwords or to commit electronic money theft.
The good news is that just reading an email message in plain text won’t let a virus loose in your computer. The bad news is opening an executable file attachment, such as an encoded program file or a Word document containing macros, can infect your computer.
The best advice is to never open an attachment sent in an email from an unknown or suspicious sender. Investing in a reliable security package with email scanning is another defense against email viruses.