A computer virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are man-made. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.
Since 1987, when a virus infected ARPANET, a large network used by the Defense Department and many universities, many antivirus programs have become available. These programs periodically check your computer system for the best-known types of viruses.
Some people distinguish between general viruses and worms. A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.
- virus disinfection
A function of an antivirus program which attempts to remove and disinfect infections on the computer system including viruses, worms and Trojan horses. Disinfection in antivirus programs may also detect and remove unwanted applications as well.
- virus protection
Virus protection software is designed to prevent viruses, worms and Trojan horses from getting onto a computer as well as remove any malicious software code that has already infected a computer. Most virus protection utilities now bundle anti-spyware and anti-malware capabilities to go along with anti-virus protection. Internet security suites go a step further by […]
- Virus Scanner
(n.) A type of antivirus program that searches a system for virus signatures that have attached to executable programs and applications such as e-mail clients. A virus scanner can either search all executables when a system is booted or scan a file only when a change is made to the file as viruses will change […]
- virus signature
A unique string of bits, or the binary pattern, of a virus. The virus signature is like a fingerprint in that it can be used to detect and identify specific viruses. Anti-virus software uses the virus signature to scan for the presence of malicious code.
The telephone equivalent of phishing. Vishing is the act of using the telephone in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The scammer usually pretends to be a legitimate business, and fools the victim into thinking he or she will profit. See “Defend Yourself Against […]