To put it simply: a computer virus is a piece of code or malicious software that, if downloaded, can perform malicious actions on your computer. There are hundreds of thousands of viruses out there, most of which can be found on the internet via advertisements, email attachments, and unintentional clicks.
There are a number of viruses that stand out in history which have had disastrous effects on computers nationwide and beyond. As early as 1988, the Morris worm was released and wiped out approximately 10% of the world’s computers connected to the internet; however, it is worth bearing in mind that in the late 80s, there were far fewer computers around than there are now. Another virus of note, called MyDoom, is notorious for being one of the fastest spreading viruses to date. Also known as Novarg, the virus appeared in 2004 and is estimated to have cost approximately $38 billion worth of damages.
With that in mind, there are of course measures you can take to protect your computer against viruses and malicious attacks:
First things first: make sure you have antivirus software on your computer. Although many computers come preloaded with an antivirus program, before you opt in, it is still worth shopping around for the one that suits you best. Bear in mind that some programs are best suited to Windows, Mac, or Android, for example. The software itself is designed to protect against malware through a series of scans.
Choose companies you trust
Whether looking for a hosting solution, an email provider, a domain supplier, or a website builder, there are a number of trusted companies that provide you with the peace of mind you need when beginning a new online adventure. Companies like 1&1, for example, often incorporate virus protection into services such as an email solution or a hosting package. Always opt for reliable, secure, and trustworthy providers.
Be cautious of emails
Email attachments are one of the most common sources of viruses. Avoid opening emails from unknown sources that appear suspicious, refrain from clicking on any links within these emails, and under no circumstances should you open an attachment from an unknown source. Opt for both a secure browser and a reliable email provider.
Use a popup blocker
Another common source of viruses is the plain-old popup. Although most popups are ads, there are a few malicious popups that can be clicked with just the same flippancy as an ad. A popup blocker is a software that prevents such overwhelming and potentially dangerous popups.