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Let’s kick off the subject of cyber security by talking about computer viruses. A computer virus is defined as “a type of malicious software program ("malware") that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code. Infected computer programs can include, as well, data files, or the "boot" sector of the hard drive. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected" with a computer virus,” according www.Wikipedia.org.
Basically, a virus is a software program that penetrates your computer hard drive or files, and it can crash your computer, make it malfunction, or it can hijack and steal the data stored on your computer. Some of the more recent malware lives on your computer quietly, so you won’t know you’re at risk.
Computer viruses are not new. As a matter of fact, they’ve been around and detected as early as the 1960s. Some of the more well-known viruses in our history include the “Creeper virus” detected in the early 1970s, or “Michaelangelo” first discovered in 1991 infecting computers via floppy drives.
Not all viruses are passed via the internet, but they can also be found within infected files and spread through file transfers. Some viruses can unknowingly be installed on your computer when you click a link on a website that may be infected. Unfortunately, the website owner of that infected link may not even know about the virus, hence that quiet malware which can spread quickly. More sophisticated viruses can detect your key strokes so they can steal your passwords.
With cyber attacks on the rise, cyber security is needed more than ever, and luckily it is free. Especially if you are running a business, you need to make sure you have an anti-virus software installed on your computer(s) with malware detection that scans your computer on a regular basis. Many of these are free like Avast, Malwarebytes, AVG. Windows 8 comes with its own anti-virus software, Microsoft Security Essential, and for Windows 7, it’s free to download.