The Pros And Cons Of Computer Viruses

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We trust our computers with everything. We house important information on them, and blindly believe that we are safe. We are so reliant on them that we cannot operate our day to day lives without them. It is terrifying to think that with a few simple lines of code, anyone can create a virus capable of erasing our entire digital lives. It is critical to understand how viruses work to be better protected against them.
Similar to its biological namesake, a virus is a small program designed to harm a computer. A virus is a type of malware program. This means it is a software program used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems (Microsoft). Viruses can generally spread by themselves. They are designed to install themselves and then self-replicate without any user input. When a virus replicates itself, it inserts the copies into computer programs and files. These programs and files are said to be “infected”. The symptoms of a virus can range from the computer slowing down to a complete system failure. Most viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as occupying hard disk space, slowing down the central processing unit, deleting files, accessing private information, corrupting data, or spamming their contacts (Brainpop). Viruses can’t create themselves. They must be written and tested to make sure they spread properly. People create viruses for many reasons. Some viruses are created just out of curiosity. They may have no harmful effect and are just made for educational purposes. Some people create them for thrills. They enjoy watching their virus wreak havoc on their victim’s computer. Another reason is for the hacker to make money. Trojans...

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...hee drawback to using a firewall is that a user cannot scan programs and files for malicious software. Also, there are rarely updates for firewalls to protect against new and more complex viruses since antivirus software is the recommended protection method.
Viruses are simple yet deadly. They disguise themselves and spread without any instructions. They can send themselves through e-mail or travel over a shared internet connection. They are hidden from their victims as they slowly eat away at their computers. They are capable of compromising entire computer networks. With all our personal information saved on computers it is vital that we keep it safe. Antivirus software is a marvelous tool that should be installed on every computer. Viruses can be destructive but if we are able to understand how they work, we will be better able to protect ourselves from them.
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