All About Viruses
A computer virus is a program designed to spread copies of itself onto multiple computers by infecting files or system areas of hard drives and floppy disks. Nasty viruses also can contain â€œpayloadsâ€? in the form of malicious code that may alter, corrupt or delete files on a hard drive and make them inaccessible to you. Viruses typically try to operate invisibly, unbeknown to you, until itâ€™s too late and the damage is done.
And viruses arenâ€™t the only source of â€œcoldsâ€? your PC can catch. You should watch out for two other infectious beasts: Worms (code that exists simply to replicate itself, not to damage files) and Trojan Horses (secret programs that allow access to a system through a remote connection). Worms are the least offensive of terrible trio. Trojans, meanwhile, are in a different class. Theyâ€™re often spread the same way as viruses and worms (through email attachments or downloaded executables), but they require human intervention to be truly destructive.