Computer viruses are software programs which have been developed with one mission, to break through the security barriers of computer systems and networks and cause havoc. Their creators have been targeting computer systems belonging to businesses, organizations, governments, individuals, etc., looking at any weaknesses that they may be able to target. Some of these individuals have used their skills of destruction to perform various illegal activities such as terrorism and money laundering. Once a weakness is bridged, the computer system is at risk of having its file system corrupted or any sensitive information may become public information to unauthorized eyes. Computer viruses are one of those online threats that every individual, business or organization dreads having on their computer systems.
Email has become a common means of communication in many areas of society. Individuals make use of email to communicate with friends irrespective of distance, while businesses often employ email as a means of getting their advertising to specific customers. The growth in this mode of communication has not gone unnoticed by the hackers and those involved in developing computer viruses. They have aligned their mode of attack toward email and instant messaging services. Various innocently appearing files are used to disguise their menaces such as audio and video clips, advertisements, etc. When a user opens these files, the virus is able to gain entry to the computer system.
With this increase in email as a form of communication technology has also undergone massive advances. Computer experts are forced to keep attends specialized courses to remain abreast of all these technological changes. Unfortunately both computer support personal as well as well as hackers have access to this specialized training. This results that the hackers themselves are also kept current on the new developments. They are therefore able to develop their new malicious programs accordingly.
The one thing that will never change is that as long as the internet is active, computer viruses are here to stay. So the only thing users can do will to be sure that their computer systems and networks are adequately protected. There are various good solutions around that are able to detect, intercept and destroy computer viruses. Some of these you are required to pay for, but there are also those that will not cost you a cent. Two of the better free anti-virus applications include AVG and Windows Security Essentials, while Panda is a good example of one of the commercial solutions that you are required to pay for.
When you are deciding on an anti-virus solution, there are a few additional issues that require special consideration. The final product must be able to protect you computer systems and networks from worms, phishing emails and Trojans as well. As those developing these threats are continuously at work, your protection must also be kept current. Ensure that the most recent update released by the software vendor is always installed and activated. Also keep up a good code of conduct when communicating with others by means of email and instant messaging. In this regard, never open an email originating from a foreign or unfamiliar source.