Nothing is a bigger hassle for a computer user than a virus or a bug. These can slow your computer down, ruin a program or kill your computer altogether. They are excruciating, because you do not see them coming; they are like real viruses in that they hit stealthily. And when they hit, they hit hard. And while computer viruses are always human made, they can spread like wildfire all on their own. We’ll walk you through the three main types of computer viruses and what you can do to help deal with them both pre-emptively and after they strike.
Three Types of Computer Bugs
Macro virus: A macro virus is essentially a hop-on for a computer file. It is a code that can embed itself within another file, such as a document or image, so that when you access the data file, you also access the macro virus. Once accessed, it can take over and corrupt your computer. Macro viruses in documents are by far the most common today, and, like nearly all viruses, they take users by surprise.
Worm: Worms are very similar to macro viruses, except instead of attaching to a file, they represent the file itself. They replicate a program and its functions and then infiltrate your computer.
Trojan horse: A Trojan horse is a virus that disguises itself by hiding inside a website function that you intend to use. For instance, a Trojan horse virus could be hiding on a site you’re using to stream a video. All you will see is the webpage and video you are actively seeking, and thus you don’t suspect anything; but hiding within that page is a dangerous virus. Trojan horses are so dangerous precisely because you cannot suspect them. Instead of getting a silly pop-up to dismiss, you are actually doing what you logged onto the internet to do, but a virus is stealthily attacking you from in hiding.
Trojan horses used to mainly exist on pornographic websites and on sites designed for file sharing, but over the last few years, they have become prevalent everywhere on the internet, so be careful!
How to Combat Viruses
Pre-emptively: The main thing to do if you want to keep your computer from contracting dangerous viruses is to download antivirus software. There are dozens of products on the market, both for free or for minimal prices, designed to prevent your computer from acquiring viruses. Some work better than others, but it’s imperative to make sure you at least have something to help limit the viruses.
After the strike: If your computer gets hit by a virus, don’t worry; it can be fixed. Some rare viruses are so severe that you need to take your computer to a specialist. But for the most part, your computer can be de-bugged with the right software. This software runs checks on your computer with great regularity, scanning your hard drive for any unwanted virus or bug. If it finds any, it will alert you, and then it will go through the process of destroying the virus.
Viruses for your computer can do the same thing as viruses for your body: debilitate. But with the right steps, you can stop viruses both before and after they attack, but it helps to know what you’re dealing with!
Herman Pratt is a freelance writer who focuses on cell phones, gadgets, internet security, computer software, futuristic technology and other related topics.