Viruses - Prevented and Removed

Viruses - Prevented and Removed
A virus is a program that copies itself onto your system and spreads onto other computers through networks, discs, emails, the internet and any other way it can. A virus usually has a specific purpose; from just drawing attention to its self via pop-up windows, right through to posing a risk by creating permanent damage to your personal files and folders - a virus can even completely stop your computer from working.

Macro drive: One of the most common viruses, the Macro drive is designed to exploit Macro functions in Microsoft Word, Excel and Access, leaving other programs vulnerable. This virus infects your data files and can prove very expensive for businesses, in terms of lost files and the time taken to clean up the damage.

File infector: This virus infects program files with .exe and .com extensions, preventing you from running programs installed on the computer. The virus is memory resistant and once opened will quickly spread and infect all program files on the hard drive.

Boot sector: Boot sector viruses hide in the computer's memory and can overwrite boot files, preventing your computer from loading correctly. Viruses of this type usually infect your computer by floppy drive and hard disks.

Master boot record: These infect the computer the same way as a boot sector virus, telling the computer how to load the operating system. The virus overwrites this command and instead instructs your PC to save a copy of the original file in a completely different location.

Multi-partile: These types of viruses infect both program files and boot records and are notoriously difficult to get rid of. If you manage to clean one and not the other, the computer will become re-infected.

Thankfully, viruses can be prevented and removed with up-to-date anti-virus software.

Antivirus and firewall software can protect your computer from online threats. Occasionally a threat can sneak through the defences but the good news is that most threats can be easily eliminated once spotted. Here is a guide to the types of infection it's worth immunising against.