Defining “Virus” – In the World of Computers

There are viruses that can be implanted on a computer today, and lie dormant waiting until a network becomes completely vulnerable before attacking. Unfortunately, viruses have come a long way from 20 years ago. Today we refer to viruses as a specific kind of malware, one that can self-replicate and continue its destructive path indefinitely.

Viruses have gotten faster and more efficient. They can delete photos, files, and entire storage libraries. They’re developed to target Word, Outlook, Windows OS, Mac OS — nothing is safe. They can be designed to affect Facebook or Twitter users, or programmed to steal credit card information. Hackers are often out for destruction, chaos, or potentially for ransom. The more the average person understands them, the faster hackers create new tricks to get in. Viruses can come in the form of a pop up, an email from a coworker, or a completely undetectable program that waits until the time is right.

“How does a computer virus find me? Even if you’re careful you can pick up computer viruses through normal Web activities like:

  • Sharing music, files or photos with other users
  • Visiting an infected Web site
  • Opening spam email or an email attachment
  • Downloading free games, toolbars, media players and other system utilities
  • Installing mainstream software applications without fully reading license agreements

What does a computer virus do? Some computer viruses are programmed to harm your computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard drive. Others simply replicate themselves or flood a network with traffic, making it impossible to perform any internet activity. Even less harmful computer viruses can significantly disrupt your system’s performance, sapping computer memory and causing frequent computer crashes.”1

What are the symptoms of a computer virus? If you recognize any of these malware symptoms in your machine, it may be infected:

  • Slow computer performance
  • Computer pop-ups
  • Suspicious hard drive activity
  • Running out of hard drive space
  • Frequent computer crashes
  • New browser home page, toolbars and/or unwanted websites
  • Unusual messages or programs that start up automatically
  • Your security solution is disabled 

How Antivirus Works. Most antivirus software works on a signature database, monitoring the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every time a new virus is reported – it’s indexed, catalogued and added to the software’s database. Once your antivirus software is up-to-date it is equipped to tackle the new virus should it ever reach your device.”

Who needs antivirus software? 2”These days, everybody needs antivirus software. Computer viruses don’t just come from streaming or downloading movies. Many people think that they can avoid potential threats by making sure they don’t visit certain websites or download certain files. The truth is computer viruses can make their way on to your computer or any other device in a number of ways. You can pick up viruses and malware simply by checking your email, browsing the web, or from putting a USB memory stick into your laptop. Virus protection is a requisite of having your own personal computer.

With Managed Anti-MalwareTM (MAM) from Bryley Systems, your Windows-based computers and servers are protected against common virus, spyware, and other malware threats. To inquire about Bryley’s full array of Managed IT Services, please contact us by phone at 844.449.8770 or by email at We’re here for you.