Any type of computer can be attacked by a virus. Windows PC’s are most often the target of virus attacks. Viruses can also attack system vulnerabilities when your computer is connected to a network. You might not notice that your computer has been infected with a virus until you notice something isn’t quite right. Here are a few primary indicators that your computer might be infected:
- Your computer runs slower than normal
- Your computer stops responding or locks up often
- Your computer crashes and restarts every few minutes
- Your computer restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
- Applications on your computer don’t work correctly or don’t work at all
- Disks or disk drives are inaccessible
- You can’t print correctly
- You see unusual error messages
In 2014 viruses accounted for 12% of all new malware created and 2.7% of all infections
Some viruses are designed to reinstall themselves after they have been detected and removed. Fortunately, by updating your computer and using antivirus software you can help permanently remove and prevent infections of computer viruses.
You can improve your computer’s security and decrease the possibility of infection by following few simple steps:
- Use a firewall. Microsoft Windows comes with a built-in firewall.
- Turn on Automatic Updates. All operating systems have the option to install new updates automatically.
- Use an antivirus software and keep it updated. Don’t jump and install the first antivirus that comes your way. There are many independent tests that measures the abilities of antivirus softwares to detect and remove viruses; you can find one here.
- Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know.
A bit of history
It all started with The Brain Virus: The brainchild of two Pakistani brothers in 1986, this virus was not meant to be a virus at all. The siblings had written it with the intent to protect their medical software from being pirated. It ended up being the first ever virus to infect the PC. Known by various names, including Lahore, Pakistani, Pakistani Brain, Brain-A, UIUC, Ashar, and Pakistani flu, this pretty-large virus affected the boot sector, changed the disk label to (c)Brain, and displayed the text:
Welcome to the Dungeon (c) 1986 Brain & Amjads (pvt) Ltd VIRUS_SHOE RECORD V9.0 Dedicated to the dynamic memories of millions of viruses who are no longer with us today – Thanks GOODNESS!! BEWARE OF THE er..VIRUS : this program is catching program follows after these messages….$#@%$@!!
The virus came complete with the brothers’ address and three phone numbers, and a message that told the user that their machine was infected and to call them for inoculation:
Welcome to the Dungeon © 1986 Brain & Amjads (pvt). BRAIN COMPUTER SERVICES 730 NIZAM BLOCK ALLAMA IQBAL TOWN LAHORE-PAKISTAN PHONE: 430791,443248,280530. Beware of this VIRUS…. Contact us for vaccination…
Following a spate of irate calls from the United States and other western countries, the brothers had to change their phone number!