Viruses: Computers’ worst enemy aside from water


Are you in need of virus removal? We’re virus cleanup experts!

Whether it’s a case of mild allergies, an excruciating headache, a chest cold, or the flu, no one likes getting sick. Viruses are especially tough to deal with because A) they sneak up on you unexpectedly, B) they can reprogram to make new viruses, making them hard to get rid of and C) they spread like wildfire. These microscopic, infectious pains-in-the-butt don’t only affect humans, they can infect many types of organisms and, though they take a different form, can even invade the immune system of a computer.

So how do you tell the difference between a common computer infection and a virus? Well, for starters, a computer virus is designed to spread far and wide, usually by way of email attachments, leaving behind a path of corrupt data or in many cases a clean, or rather unfortunately erased, slate. They can also be transferred by USB flash drives, CD’s or downloading and running files from the Internet.

As computer repair extraordinaires, we’ve seen viruses of all types and degrees. Learning to recognize a virus when you see one is extremely important because while some are quite harmless, others can cause your whole system to come crashing down.

One of the most commonly known viruses is the Trojan Horse. Designed to look like a useful run-of-the-mill application, it appears click friendly. Although these particular viruses don’t replicate, beware: they are greedy. They steal information and corrupt data, compromising your computer’s security.

An especially sneaky breed, is the Rootkit Virus. Usually installed by a Trojan virus, it fights to gain access to your computer through the Internet, hiding certain processes to remain undetected. The two put together make for a very deadly duo.

Then there’s the Memory Resident and Non-Resident virus. As you probably gathered from the name, these hide out in your computer’s memory (the random access memory or RAM for short), waiting to kick into gear when the host program that introduced it is terminated. Non-Resident Viruses are alternatively stored on the hard drive and are hosted in an exe. file that infects a computer each time it’s run.

Equally as clever and mad is the Macro Virus. These viruses are written as a macro (a series of directional commands) and embedded into a document. Because many applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel support macro languages, each time the macro is used or the document opens, the virus spreads.

Though there are many strands of viruses out there in the virtual world, the last main one you should be aware of is the worm virus. Normally found creeping around on big networks, these are complex pieces of code programmed to exploit security flaws. This virus uses the multitude of emails present in vast networks, such as big corporations, to help it spread and replicate.

Though reading this article doesn’t earn you an official Tech Pros badge, by knowing what these different viruses are designed to do and how they negatively impact your computer, you should be able to pick up on the signs. This way, you can hopefully increase your chance of preventing infection or removal. Next time your computer comes down with something we’re here to cleanup the problem! Contact us by calling 615.595.6399  or drop us a line at