Q:

How can viruses affect your computer?

A:

Viruses affect your computer by corrupting files, interrupting Internet traffic and taking over basic functions of your operating system. These behaviors can knock a system offline and cause crashes. Viruses can record keystrokes and screen data, and they may steal personal information and passwords to transmit back to the malware author. Particularly malicious viruses completely take over a computer and use it as a weapon against others.

While most viruses eventually cause direct damage, many modern malware suites are extremely subtle in their attacks. The goal is to infect as many systems as possible, steal information and allow the author to take over the subverted "zombie" systems for his own use. Once a virus takes over a system, it uses email programs to send out copies of itself, and it transmits packets to other systems in an attempt to break in and establish a new infection. Once a malware author has a large number of systems under his control, he can use them to attack servers by flooding them with requests from hundreds or thousands of systems at once.

In some cases, viruses even have the ability to damage the BIOS, the low-level system programs hard coded into motherboards that are responsible for the most basic functions of a computer. Fortunately, these are relatively rare due to the fact that each motherboard manufacturer uses different standards for its programs.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you delete computer files?

    A:

    To delete computer files permanently, send the desired files or folders to the Recycle Bin. Right click the Recycle Bin file, and select Empty the Recycle Bin from the drop-down menu.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Internet Frog?

    A:

    Internet Frog is a website that provides free resources to test Internet speed, validate email addresses, find locations of IP addresses, and scan computers to check for viruses. Located at InternetFrog.com, the site began in 2005 with one of the first free Internet speed tests.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can I make my laptop run faster?

    A:

    To make a laptop run faster, check for viruses and remove them, defrag the hard drive, remove programs that are no longer needed, upgrade the hardware and reinstall the operating system. The difficulty ranges from very easy to moderately difficult, and the amount of time it takes depends on the problem.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are "windows benefits"?

    A:

    Benefits of the Microsoft Windows operating system over other operating systems include its ease of use, backward compatibility with earlier versions of Windows, the extensive support that it offers for both new and old versions and ready availability of software for this operating system. The Windows OS is arguably the most user-oriented operating system on the market, designed to be usable without any prior knowledge of computers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore