How a computer gets a virus infection
In this article I will explain how a user’s computer or laptop catches a virus. I will also talk about virus prevention and precautions.
The use of computer is expanding day by day. There are so many types of computers like desktop computer, laptop, iPad, tablet, Apple computer system, cell phones and others. Most of these computer machines can get virus infections in one way or the other. More than 80% of the world market uses Microsoft Windows computers. There are thousands and thousands of viruses, malware, adware and scripts that have so far infected millions of computers and notebooks.
How a virus attacks a computer? The way the virus transfer into a computer system is very annoying for a normal user. The attack is mysterious and destructive. As we know a virus is a computer program that can do anything the author wants it to do. Computer program has two aspects. It can run visually so that user can see it on the screen and it can also execute in the background which is the dangerous part of programming because a user cannot see it. A computer virus can execute the same way as installing a normal program on a computer. The difference is, a normal installation can be seen in the form of install wizard while the hidden execution cannot be noticed. So the virus can install itself automatically. This means, the virus copies all its files on the user’s computer without visually displaying the install wizard. Once the virus is installed, it can be run in a variety of ways like executing itself when the windows system starts. As mentioned above, the Microsoft Windows contributes to 80% to the world market that is why there are so many windows threats on the internet. The new type of computer that is safer against viruses is the Apple’s Mac computer, MacBook and MacBook Pro. I have seen attacks on these computers too but overall the number of infections is almost zero.
Let me explain some popular ways how a virus can execute without users permission. As explained above one way is, it can start when the computer system is started. A lot of times, user downloads free programs from the Internet. According to a research more than 10 percent of total websites are infected with some kind of code that can infect a system accessing that site. These websites change their malicious code regularly so that the antivirus programs cannot detect it. So when user downloads a program from the internet, it is usually in the form of a package and can contain anything including adware or agent programs used to communicate with virus developers. The virus can also attack a computer when a user opens an attachment. The email looks legitimate but in fact the attachment contains dangerous virus. There are different kinds of viruses starting from basic to the most destructive ones. Some viruses are so dangerous that data recovery is impossible after the infection.
How to clean and protect against viruses? Once a machine is infected with a worm, most of the time it can be cleaned. Many antivirus companies offer all kinds of tool to combat certain types of threats like stinger by Mcafee, tdskiller by kesperasky, power erase by Norton, Software Malicious Removal Tool by Microsoft. All these tools only work against some known infections. These companies also offer full versions of antivirus software. Which one is better? Nobody knows. The best defense is precaution. I will talk about precaution in the next paragraph. It’s very important to show your computer to a computer repair professional once it gets a virus instead of trying different things. This may avoid further complication.
So what are the important steps to avoid viruses and malware? First of all, the windows must be up to date i.e. windows updates should be installed all the time. Second a good antivirus with a firewall must be installed and up to date all the time. The next step is to avoid opening emails and attachments from unknown people or unknown email addresses. The most important one is this one. Let’s imagine, a user visits an infected website whose integrity was not known before and he or she opened it, the machine may get some popup window or the system might suddenly slow down. The best defense will be to press ctrl+alt+delete and force end all the running programs and avoid visiting that site. Some antivirus programs have the ability to feel this kind of infection and that way the user can close the website immediately.
In this article I tried to educate users on how a computer gets infections and what to do to avoid them. I also described about different types of virus attacks.