Computers get sick too, apparently. As with human pathogens, a computer virus is a malicious code that alters your computer system’s normal operations, usually designed with the intent to spread to other computers. There are many ways for a computer to contract a virus, including downloading infected files, installing compromised software, following shady online links, etc. These viruses can even get into your computer while you’re doing something as mundane as claiming an online casino game on an untrustworthy website. Try to avoid suspicious offers and choose hot offers like latest no deposit casino bonuses UK on trusted platforms only.
Some prevalent viruses are the Stoned, Michelangelo, Anthrax, Cascade, etc. Here are a few warning signs to watch out for if you suspect your computer might be infected:
- Repeated pop-up windows
- Slow computer performance
- Lost files
- Computer crashes and errors
- Unknown programs on your computer
- Any other unusual behavior
So, let’s check out four of the most common types of computer viruses today.
1. File Infectors
File infector viruses fix on executable files that have the .com and .exe extensions. When you open any of these infected files, you unintentionally launch the virus. The corrupt code then takes over the program you wanted to launch and spreads to other executable files you have on your hard drive or network.
When this virus is on your computer or network, it goes on to compromise the data and files on your networks and systems. It could even go as far as creating peer-to-peer botnets and disabling the security software on the connected computers. In some cases, these viruses rewrite all the executable files that are supposed to launch when you start up your PC and overrun the system.
This virus can stay dormant in the system for a while until it infects other programs. The most popular transmission modes of file infectors include networks or over the internet and connecting infected disks into your computer. Common examples of this virus include Cascade, Jerusalem, and Yankee Doodle. Interestingly, Yankee Doodle causes infected computers to play the song “Yankee Doodle” by 5 pm daily.
2. Macro Virus
This is the most common type of computer virus. It sticks to files that are made in programs that support macros; hence, the name. Macros are a series of commands you can carry out with a simple keystroke. Examples of these programs are Microsoft packages, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents. These are some of the most used programs on a computer, so you can understand why this virus is so widespread.
Macro viruses activate when you open the corrupt file. Often, these infected files get into the computer when you download files over the internet, most notably through email. If you open an infected file while you’re still in your email client, the virus can duplicate and send the same virus to all the contacts on your list.
Since this virus only attacks data files such as word documents and excel spreadsheets, the standard modes of propagation involve all the transfer modes of these documents. As soon as this virus gets on your computer, it spreads to other similar documents until your system is overrun. Examples of Macro viruses are WM.niceday and W97M.Melissa. Fun fact: the Melissa virus cost about $80 million in damages, and the founder served a prison sentence.
3. Web Scripting Viruses
These viruses lay in wait online, usually on popular websites and webpages. The execution is sneaky, and even the website owner might not know they’re hosting viruses. It overwrites the website’s code and puts links, ads, images, and videos that will install harmful software on users’ computers. It’s easy to implement, and simply posting malicious code as a comment is enough to get the ball rolling.
Often, these viruses serve to generate income for their creators, but some do a lot more than that. Some steal cookies from the infected websites to use the stolen information to post on the same website, posing as the person. A quick way to identify viruses like this is websites that have a lot of flashing pop-up ads. A typical example of a web scripting virus is a DDoS attack that attacks users’ sessions.
4. Browser Hijackers
These are viruses that take control of your browser, usually restricting your actions. Your browser homepage will look different from what you know, and a fake search engine pops up. It will also alter the settings, so you cannot reverse them and make the corrections. If you type a website you want to visit, this virus will route you to an entirely different page with banners and flashing images asking you to sign up to access the site you initially typed.
Imagine wanting to log in to your casino game online to claim 100 free spins no deposit UK, but you keep getting redirected to another page not related to the casino telling you to sign up. It can be a pretty frustrating and persistent virus that can hinder you from getting work done. These viruses are designed with the intent of earning money through clickable ads on the browser. They use a common tactic to bundle it up with browser toolbars and free software with advanced search features.
Examples of browser hijacker viruses are AskToolbar and GoSave
Computer viruses can deal massive damage to your data and cost you a lot of money. There are some methods to keep your computer free of any virus threats and prevent their entry into your system in the first place. Some of these are:
- Using antivirus software. They scan your system of any threats and remove them. They also work proactively to detect any virus trying to get access to your system.
- While surfing the internet, avoid suspicious links or ads that are too good to be true.
- Scan all your email and received attachments before downloading them into your system.
- Install a pop-up blocker into your browser and even if they do come up, avoid clicking on them.