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Computer Viruses - The Real And Present Danger

Nov 12, 2007
If you've never been the victim of a computer virus, you may think that all of the uproar over these nasty little programs is making much ado out of nothing. You may even be thinking that computer security experts and anti-virus companies are using scare tactics to sell anti-virus software. After all, the bigger the problem, the more software people buy. Today, the anti-virus business is worth several billion dollars and it shows no sign of slowing down.

So, with all of this money at risk, you are certainly justified in wondering whether computer viruses really are as big a problem as the industry says they are.

Unfortunately, the answer is that they absolutely are. If you get a virus, you could actually lose your money, your identity and your computer's hard drive. With new viruses being developed constantly, the problem continues to grow. While many viruses are more annoying than destructive, even a "harmless" virus can use up valuable resources. The worst viruses can spread worldwide in a few days and wreak unbelievable havoc. The damage from one infamous virus can mean billions of dollars in lost business opportunities and damaged equipment.

With all of this bad news, is there any good news for computer users? Take this quick risk quiz:

1. Does your computer have antivirus software installed on it?

If you can say yes, you are much less a risk than people that don't have antivirus software. If you say no, than it is only a matter of time until you find out about viruses personally.

2. Does your computer have a firewall installed on it?

If your response is yes again, you can relax a bit. You're doing all you can do software wise to keep your computer safe from a deadly virus. If you say no again, you are leaving your computer wide open for an attack.

Despite all of the media attention paid to antivirus software, people still have the "It can't happen to me." mentality. They laugh off warnings to protect their computers and say that they are working just fine. They think that because they never actually initiate a file download or send and receive files with friends, they are safe. A few months go by and suddenly they can't get their computers to boot up forever and then when they finally do start, they plod along at a snail's pace.

To make things worse, quite a few of these computer users who leave their computers unprotected are actually taking classes for computer related careers. They are completely at sea when they have to try to repair the damage caused by a virus filled computer. Perhaps a basic class on computer care and repair is in order!

You are probably wondering how viruses develop anyway. Hackers are the people creating these nasty bugs, right? Actually, while some hackers may decide to create computer viruses, most of them spend all of their waking hours attempting to break in to the most secure and top secret systems they can find. People who write viruses are people with an ax to grind. They want to send a wake up message or show people that they are superior to them. Today, many people are concerned that computer viruses could be used as a terrorist weapon.

If you do get a computer virus, will you lose everything on your hard drive? It actually is rare for this type of virus to spread very fast or far. Annoying viruses that stop you from starting your computer or using windows or those that mail spoof emails to your entire email address book are much more common. The hard drive is usually recoverable when the computer has one of these viruses.

What about your financial and personal information? Are viruses really likely to swipe them from the computer. Absolutely. This is a common reason that viruses are created and spread.

Is there any way to keep your computer virus free? While no anti-virus software is foolproof, installing one of these programs can provide some protection. While there are anti-virus software programs that provide better protection, any of them will help somewhat. Even free anti-virus programs are actually able to ward off at least some viruses.

After reading this information on viruses and anti-virus software, you have probably resolved to get protection for your computer right away. If so, you won't be sorry. Dealing with viruses after you are infected is frustrating and time consuming. It is so much easier to keep a disaster from happening instead of trying to reconstruct a ton of missing data and worry about identity or financial thefts after the fact.
About the Author
Does your computer have a virus? Dozens of new viruses appear every single day and if you're not using antivirus software your identity and data is at risk. Find out what the best antivirus software is by visiting
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