Definition of Computer Virus, Protection

Computer viruses are the software programs that have the ability to clone itself and can operate without the knowledge or desire of the computer user. In other words, a computer virus is a program designed to spread itself by first infecting executable files or the system areas of hard and floppy disks and then making copies of itself. Computer virus can transfer from different

means to a computer without the knowledge and permission of the user and they can hide themselves in other files. Whenever a host file or program is used, the virus become active and performs destructive tasks such as dislocating, deleting and changing contents of files. It infects data or program every time the user runs the infected program and it takes advantages and replicates itself. It is the intellectual destructive creation of computer programmer.

In 1949, Dr. John Von Neumann introduced the concept of replicate computer program. The first replicating program named “Creeper” was reported during 1970 in the network system of American department of Defense. In 1983, an American electronic engineer ‘Fred Cohen’ had used the word “Computer Virus” in his research paper for the program that replicates andprevents other programs to be executed. In 1987, two Pakistani brothers , Amjad and Basti released the first IBM virus “C-Brain” to stop illegal reproduction of software developed from Alvi’s Brain Computer Shop. An Indonesian programmer released the first antivirus software in 1988 to detect the C-Brain virus. This antivirus software could remove C-Brain from a computer and immunized the system against fur

ther Brain attacks. After this event, people started to have much interest in viruses and various viruses have started to be produced.

The number of computer viruses is increasing day by day. The nature of virus varies from each other. Virus spread from computer to computer through electronic bulletin boards, telecommunication systems, and shared floppy disks, pen drives, compact disks and the Internet. Viruses are created by computer programmers for fun, but once they began to spread they take on a life of their own. Antivirus software are developed to protect from computer virus.


1. To stop the software privacy. Software

can be easily copied from one computer to another computer. In order to stop software piracy, the programmers of the software themselves create computer viruses.

2. To entertain the users by displaying interesting messages or pictures.

3. To steal data and information.

4. To remind the incidents that happened at different time.

5. To destroy data, information and files.

6. To expose their programming ability.

7. Computer viruses are made in order to earn the money.

Computer viruses activate when the infected files or programs are used. Once a virus is active it may replicate by various means and tries to infect other files or the operating system. When you copy files or programs from a infected computer, the viruses also transfer along with files or programs to the portable disk which in turn transfers viruses to another computer whenever it is used. So, mostly the computers get infected through the external sources. The most common ways through which viruses spread are:

· Sharing of infected external portable disk like floppy disk, pen drive or compact disk.

· Using pirated software.

· Opening of virus infected e-mail messages and attached files.

· Downloading files or programs from the web

site, which are not secured.

· Exchanging of data, information or files over a network.

The number of viruses is increasing daily and each virus possesses different characteristics. It is very difficult to know whether a computer is infected with viruses or not. You may see the following symptoms, if a computer is infected with computer viruses.

· Programs take more time to load, fail to load or hang frequently.

· Unexpected messages or images appear su

ddenly on the screen.

· Displays unusual error messages or encounters errors frequently.

· Missing of files or appearing of unexpected files.

· Displaying low memory message frequently.

· Programs open automatically without giving instruction.


We have already known that, viruses are harmful to our computers. They affect our computer systems. Virus can damage our important files and programs. They make our computer slow. Similarly, viruses create several effects to our computers and they irritate the users frequently. So, protection and prevention of our computer from viruses is necessary. If we follow some tips, we can prevent computer from viruses.

Some general tips on prevention and protection from virus infections are as follows:

1. Install anti-virus software from a well known, reputable company and use it regularly.

2. Update the Anti-virus software frequently in order to get the latest virus definition and scan the hard disk using latest virus definition because new viruses come out every single day.

3. Install an ‘on access’ scanner and configure it to start automatically each time you boot your computer system. This will protect your system by checking for viruses each time your computer accesses an executable file.

4. Virus scans any programs or other files that may contain executable code before you run or open them, no matter where they come from. There have been the cases of commercially distributed floppy disks, pen drives and CD-ROMs spreading virus infections.

5. If your E-mail or news software has ability to automatically execute Java Script, word macros or other executable, code contained in or attached to a message, it strongly recommended that you should disable this feature.

6. Be extremely careful about accepting programs or other files during on-line chat session. This seems to be one of the more common means that people wind up with virus or Trojan horse problem.

7. Do backup your entire system on a regular basis. Because some viruses may erase or corrupt files on your hard disk and recent backup data can be recovered.

8. Before using the pen drives of others, check it whether it is virus infected or not. First scan and then only open it.

9. Do not use pirated software.

10. Lock the computer system using password to prevent your computer from being used by others.

11. Do not download any programs from Internet unless you are confirmed they are virus free.

12. Be careful! While checking mail having attached documents.


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