What is a virus? Are there different kinds of viruses?
- +Is it usually our own fault?
- Viruses come in through all kinds of channels. Websites, USB sticks, mails, games and so on. Some we see immediately, others are working on our PC for weeks and months without us knowing it. But one thing is almost certain. In 99% of the cases we clicked on something ourselves or did something that caused this virus to be on our computer.
This means that, if we are more careful, we can actually prevent this problem. How? You can read this in our other articles.
- +Better to prevent than to cure?
- What do you mean, prevent? Yes, on the one hand by being more careful, on the other hand by taking the right security measures, like a virus scanner. There are free and paid versions, but one thing is certain, if you do not know what to do, you can better ask for help. Compare it to installing an airbag in a car, you want it to go off when you have a car accident, so we do not install it ourselves.
Virus scanners can also give a false feeling of security. If you amend the settings in a certain way, your computer with a virus scanner can even be less secure than if you had not installed a virus scanner.
- +You can't rest on your laurels?
- Viruses are continuously developing, and the most advanced viruses are often more complex and intelligent than most of the software we use on a daily basis. Something to be cautious about. But the scanners also adapt and are regularly updated. Regularly updating your virus scanner and scanning your computers thus remains something you should keep repeating
- +What do software updates do?
- Yes, software updates can often help and protect you. Viruses always use weaknesses in the applications to do something with our PC. These weaknesses are also often discovered and solved by the manufacturer. These solutions are sent around the world in the form of updates and patches. Performing these regularly on your PC ensures that you already have a good protection. So make sure you don’t postpone the updates every time, these are more important than you first thought.
- +Tips from PaSMaN
- You can already read it, it is a lot to keep into account. And if you do not do this, the danger is real. To summarize:
- Be cautious (on the internet, with mails, with USB sticks, …)
- Make sure you have a good antivirus scanner
- Perform a scan on a regular basis
- Update your PC, this way you always have the latest version
Should something go wrong, you can try to fix this yourself. Take into account that this is often a complex assignment. The websites that provide advice on this are not always legitimate and trustworthy. Take into account that there are bad websites which only aggravate the problem.
What is a malware? Are there different kinds of malware?
Malware or malicious software is every harmful software that disturb a computer system and can collect sensitive information. Malware always assumes malicious intent. Malware usually comes in because there are holes in the software through which malicious people can infect your computer or because you as a user visit malicious websites. Infected USB sticks can also bring in the malware.
Examples of malware are a.o. adware, computer virus, computer worm, spyware, trojan horse, ransomware, etc.
A computer virus is a malicious, harmful software program that installs itself into a file of the operating system of your device and infects other computer programs and files by adding its own ‘code’. When you use the infected program, the code is activated, and the virus starts spreading. Due to the virus, it is possible that your computer is slower or that the functionality of your computer is affected.
Ransomware is malicious software that takes over your computer and denies access to certain information or threatens to make your information public. The attacker demands ransom from the victim to restore access to the information after payment of such ransom. Ransomware can for example be hidden in an email attachment or can also, like the WannaCry worm, spread automatically over computers without any interaction with the users.