What is a Computer Virus – All you need to know!

Information about Computer Virus

Table of Contents

Can you guess one thing other than food, air, and water that a person can’t live without in this era? Well, it’s an internet-based device (Computer, Mobile).

So, what’s the biggest threat to these devices – a “Computer Virus.” In this blog read all you need to know about what is a computer virus.

For example, just think of your life without mobile phones, computers, TVs, etc., terrifying, right? The internet is even used in smart cars that you would think to be completely mechanical.

Based on my own experience, I can say that if I take out the time I sleep for and even the free time spent on any activity, I would still end up relying on the internet for over 15 hours. This may be college work, job-related work, news reading, working on content writing, and whatnot.

A warning pop up due to computer virus attack.

Being a student, in my opinion, the most important device of all is the computer, yes mobile follows the next. Because so much work is done on computers like project work, assignments, webinars, online learning due to Covid (Sigh!). True, all this can be done on mobile, but you also know that there are many limitations, and the quality of work will drop.

Information Technology is a ever growing field. There is definitely a demand for software engineers in this era. Here are some effective tips to apply for internship in computer science.

Key Takeaways

  • Computer Viruses are the biggest threat to a personal computer or similar devices using an operating system.
  • A Computer Virus is coded programming that infects the operating system and harms the computer.
  • Some ways to get infected are – Virus from the internet, email viruses, and sharing of data.
  • System crash, information leaks, multiplication of programs and any other unintended automatic activity is a symptom of computer virus.
  • Antivirus is the best and trusted method to prevent computer virus infection.

What is a Computer Virus

Computer Virus definition – A Computer Virus is a coded programming that infects the operating system and harms the computer. This all happens without your knowledge, and the virus works completely on its own without any command.

For people who don’t know what a coded programming is, just think of the coronavirus that’s spreading right now. Computer virus is similar to it in every single way, just that it is electronic in nature.

It spreads via documents or files that are corrupted. Computer viruses damage the system by multiplying, deleting files, or just any unintended action on a file that will stop the smooth functioning of the computer.

Also Read: Top 10 Programming Languages

Types computer virus

Let us see some of the types of Computer viruses and the ways in which a computer can get infected with a Computer Virus:

A notification for getting affected by a computer virus
  • Virus from the internet

The first and foremost way everyone should be aware of is the virus from the internet. Never download a file from an unknown website. The risk of that file being corrupted is high. Also, don’t trust any website that doesn’t have the lock symbol. This symbol is a proof that the site is secured and safe to browse on.

Lock symbol in image represents that between 2 parties data is encrypted.
  • Email Viruses 

Email viruses are another way of getting the system infected. Never open an email attachment from an unknown person or the ones that go directly to spam. The obvious fraud email most would have seen, i.e., “you have won $******* amount of money.” Don’t open such emails, the possibility of viruses in these are more.

  • Sharing

Just like how the coronavirus is spreading through one person coming in contact with an infected person, the same way sharing of computer files increases the risks. It doesn’t matter if it is shared through a pen-drive or ShareIt App or something similar, there is always a possibility of the other computer being infected and the owner not knowing about it.

  • Dormant Virus in files

Last, some viruses attached to a file do stay dormant until the file is running or get activated based on different conditions. 

Just like any biological virus, even computer viruses are not visible to the naked eye.

Computer Virus Symptoms

There are many computer virus types, with each having a different effect. 

Screen crash due to a computer virus attack.

Some have intended effects like you would have seen in some Sci-Fi movies about Virus Kill Code to shut down a computer, while some are for prank intended, some are for hacking and financial theft purposes, etc.

  • System Crash

System crash is one of the most harmful effects of a virus. In this, not only the system stops working, but the loss of information is also possible. Just think, all your hard work is gone in just a few seconds, well I don’t even know what I can say further on this.

  • Deleting or multiplication

Deleting or multiplication of files is another effect. Even if a small part is deleted or corrupted in electronic files, it is hard to open the file with normal means. The system will just keep showing corrupt file messages and won’t let it open.

  • Information leaks

There are viruses with the specific intention of leaking data. Not for just companies but for everyone, data leaks will be a big security and privacy breach issue.

  • Other effects

Frequent lags, crashes, popup windows, and decreased performance are some of the effects and common signs of a Computer Virus attack.

Computer Virus Examples

Let’s look at some Computer virus names or computer virus examples in history that impacted on country level:

  • ILoveYou

ILOVEYOU,” created by Onel de Guzman. I am sure, never in life will you forget this virus. Well, the name suggests it to be a romantic prank virus, doesn’t it? But what this actually does is, after activation, this code starts overwriting files randomly on the computer. This may result in the loss of MP3, JPEG, and other similar files. It also sends a copy of itself to contacts present in the Windows Address Book of the user.

You will receive an email with the subject line of “I LOVE YOU,” and the virus is actually attached in the file named “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs.” Open this attachment, and that’s the trigger for the virus to activate. This virus affected over 10 million computers in May 2000.

  • Trojan horse

Just like the story of how Greek soldiers hid inside a horse to infiltrate the city of Troy unsuspected, same way, this is a type of virus that looks legitimate, and you won’t suspect while installing a file.

The whole point of this virus is to damage the system or to steal the data. This, like the above one, can be found in emails from someone unknown. The trigger for this is opening and downloading the attachments or installing the attached software. The software may look legit therefore beware of downloading files from an unknown person.

How to prevent computer virus

So, after reading the ways of getting infected and the effects of Computer viruses, the next thing will be to know how to protect one’s computer from this threat. Following are some computer virus protection methods.

  • Always make sure to buy Computer Antivirus software such as Quick Heal, Norton, McAfee, etc. Do a computer virus scan regularly when downloading or sharing data.
  • Don’t download a file or open an email from an unknown person.
  • While sharing, always scan the file using antivirus software, like while copying files from a Disc or Pendrive.
  • Other than antivirus, the option of formatting a computer is there. The drawback of this option is that all the data is lost. Just for fun to see what format does, try formatting a pendrive. All you have to do is right-click on the pendrive folder and click format. You can see that the data will be deleted, and a clean virus free pen drive will be with you.

Governments, Banks, Corporates, Military and other such organizations store sensitive information in digital records. Just think of the loss that will happen if data is leaked from such organizations, because of an intended computer virus attack. Aside from the above steps, this is where Cybersecurity plays an important role in protecting data.

Cyber Security is typically defined as “the systematic technique of safeguarding the contents, be it digital, electronic, or any other cyber asset(s). Here are some “Top 10 Cyber Security Project Ideas” for interested candidates and also How To Become A Cybersecurity Professional?


Computer virus worm are the biggest threat to computer and similar devices. It is better to stay updated on antivirus subscription than the alternative of losing the data.

To summarize, don’t click, open, or download from an unknown source. This is a sure-fire method to make sure to avoid Computer viruses. It is always best to scan every file you download from the internet or copy from pendrive.

Lastly, keep updating the antivirus software to tackle the new viruses that keep coming into the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is computer virus?

A Computer Virus is a coded programming that infects the operating system and harms the computer.

What are the 3 most dangerous computer viruses?

Klez, ILOVEYOU and Wanna cry are the histories most dangerous viruses that cost monetary loss across the whole country.

What does the I Love You virus do?

After activation, this code starts overwriting files randomly on the computer. This may result in the loss of MP3, JPEG, and other similar files. It also sends a copy of itself to contacts present in the Windows Address Book of the user.

Who made iloveyou virus?

Onel De Guzman at the age of 24 made this virus.

Which is best antivirus?

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Norton and McAfee are some of the old and trusted antiviruses.

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