Unfortunately, computer viruses aren’t like biological viruses that come from airborne specks, moisture droplets, or through the bloodstream. They’re even worse because a computer virus comes from another human; it is created by a human programmer for the sole purpose of damaging a computer.

Stupid as it may seem – and it is – humans who created the computer are also to blame for creating a disease and sickness for it. So, how do viruses affect a computer? To answer the “how” we also need to answer the “why,” as in why computer viruses were created in the first place.

Identity Theft / Restricted Data Theft

This type of virus simply enters a computer, infects it, records information from your computer, and transmits it back to the virus host creator. Sometimes, the virus just monitors your daily activities and waits for vital information like credit card details and passwords. The why here, of course, is to steal information in order to steal money from you.

Bragging Rights

Sometimes, it’s as simple as a group of hackers and who can make the best virus that can do the most damage. The winner gets to have bragging rights. Some of these viruses can be as harmless as causing annoying pop-ups, but some can damage the computer’s OS.

To Damage Organizations or Competing Businesses

Now there are viruses that actually damage your computer or are created to spread from computer to computer over a network and once in place, they search out the operating system and corrupt or delete specific files. These types of viruses are usually created by a programmer with an agenda of destruction towards an organization, company, or a certain social group, for instance, a virus that targets urban middle class credit card holders. Again, the virus can perform an array of functions, but the basic idea is that it disrupts the organization’s or company’s function. They spread very well over e-mail since most organizations send lots of e-mails internally, but in such scenarios this can infect computers even outside the organization and so individuals who were not even targeted become collateral damage.

In any case, viruses for the time being are here to stay. At least until we can put a stop to supposedly smart people willing to benefit themselves at the expense of others. In the meantime, get the best anti-virus program you can possibly install and never leave your computer unprotected.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 4:49:15 PM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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