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Computer viruses

Computer viruses
A computer virus is a simple program made to harm a computer system. It spreads by duplicating
and attaching itself to files. Sometimes the damage is minor but often it can be disastrous.
Viruses are written by malicious programmers who wish to cause problems for other
computer users.
The primary source of infection these days are emailattachments followed
by illegal software and infected files from the internet. If you have up to date antivirus software installed this will immediately warn you of any infection. If not, there is
usually no evidence of the virus and the user is not usually aware of it until something goes
How can you reduce the risk of getting a virus?
Viruses can be prevented by taking sensible precautions, including:
keeping your operating system up to date
using up to date anti-virus software
not opening an email attachment unless you are expecting it and know the source (many
email servers scan emails with anti-virus software on the user's behalf)
not allowing other users to use their own memory stick on your system
only downloading files from reputable web sites
avoiding software from unreliable sources
Anti-virus software can inspect computer files and email attachments for viruses and remove
or quarantine any which are found.
It is good practice to backup your data regularly. If a virus does damage your data, you
can restore the damaged files from