How Viruses Work and Damage Your Computer
It’s a word no computer user wants to hear or deal with: malware. This could mean one of a few things, a virus, spyware, or worm. They all have potentially detrimental effects, and you probably know that having to clean out or replace a hard drive infected by malware could cost hundreds of dollars. The problem is, you have no idea how it made its way into your system to begin with, you just want to get rid of it!
How does Malware Get into Your Computer?
There are numerous causes of malware. In some cases, someone may send you an email or social media post with a mysterious or unfamiliar link. Next thing you know, you find yourself receiving a ton of pop-up ads, even when you are not online. In other instances, you type in a URL or click a link, then get redirected to a completely different site. That’s the result of spyware, which is similar to a virus, and performs specific behaviors without your consent, i.e. gathering confidential information or making changes to your computer, some subtle, and some blatant.
A virus can also infiltrate your computer, and cause even more damage. Viruses reproduce or multiply, thus increasing the potential negative effects. The effects range anywhere from productivity being reduced to a crawl, to numerous pop-ups, to the machine freezing or crashing. Malware can also wreak havoc on your personal accounts, as hackers obtain your banking, credit card, or social security numbers, and use the information to make purchases without your consent. This could cause irreversible damage to your account, and even your credit score.
Having the right preventative software on your computer is the easiest way to avoid any headaches down the line. Oftentimes, you can download this software for free, and then maintain round-the-clock protection, as long as you run the program regularly. In some cases, you can schedule your computer to monitor the system, even when you are not using it.