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What is a virus?

A virus is a computer code or software program that is created maliciously created by men to damage your computer files and programs, or to disrupt its system. Viruses can be unintentionally downloaded from a website, received it as an attachment in an email, or got from a computer disk. What makes them more dangerous is the possibility of replicating themselves and spreading to other computers.

The term virus is often used as a generic reference to any malicious code that is not, in fact, a true computer virus.
A computer virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user.

Due to the publicity viruses have received people tend on one hand to believe that any computer problem is caused by a virus. Yet, on the other hand there is the tendency to take every warning email as a virus.

What is not a virus?

  • Computer hardware such as monitor, board, mouse, cannot be damaged by viruses. In other words, hardware problems do not appear as a result of virus infection.
  • If you cannot open a particular file this is not necessarily the sign of a virus. Open another document. In case you successfully complete this operation, it means that the file in question may be damaged.
  • The computer beeps and there is no screen display when you start it up. This may be the cause of a hardware problem during the boot process. Consult the computer documentation for the meaning of the beep codes.
  • In case you have two antivirus programs installed on your computer and only one of them detects a virus, either you have a virus or one of the antivirus program detects the others signature/presence in memory.
  • When using Microsoft Word, you get a warning that the document contains a macro this doesn't mean that it's a virus.
  • When running ScanDisk, NAV Auto-Protect reports virus-like activity. The following are two possible solutions:
    • Disable Auto-Protect
    • Start NAV, and temporarily disable Auto-Protect
    • Run ScanDisk and let it fix the errors.
    • Re-enable Auto-Protect.
    • Change a ScanDisk option
    • Start ScanDisk and Choose to run a thorough scan.
    • Click Options.
    • Uncheck "Do not perform write testing."
    • Run ScanDisk again.
  • If the label on a hard drive has changed, it doesn't mean you have a virus. Every disk is allowed to have a label. You can assign a label to a disk by using the DOS Label command of from within Windows. SCSI card can use some of this memory. Consult with your computer manufacturer or hardware vendor to determine if this is the case.

What makes a good antivirus solution

On the antivirus market where there is a harsh competition, it is difficult to chose the antivirus solution that suits you best. That is why one should be well informed before deciding what antivirus software to buy.
In our opinion a good antivirus product must fulfill two golden basic rules: to be efficient and to offer an up to date database with all viruses including the latest ones.
If a virus is not effective in detecting, identifying and eliminating (isolating or quarantine) infected files no matter it comes via email, web browsing, Instant Messages Apps, etc, it doesn't worth your attention. In addition, a good antivirus software should also be easy to install and have a useful help documentation to assist you in finding the key to your questions all by yourself.
Do not forget: in order to be efficient, a good antivirus software must fulfill all these conditions together. In case your software doesn't fulfill one of these conditions, make sure you protect all uncovered "fields" by using separate antivirus programs.

Security4Web recommends

Regularly update your virus definition database! Remember to update it at least once a week. Failure to do so will result in computer vulnerability to the latest viruses.


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